Roger Federer continues to be at the forefront of tennis royalty as he took home another Australian Open Title this past Sunday. The victory marks Federer’s second consecutive victory in Melbourne and it is his sixth Australian Open Championship overall which ties him with Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic for most titles in the history of the tournament. Federer also became the first man to win 20 Grand Slam Titles with his closest competitor being Rafael Nadal at 16. And for all of those competitors who are chasing Federer, they may want to take a page from his book.
Federer is 36-years of age, and in recent years it has been all about him preserving his body. Federer has had no problem taking some tournaments off in between the Grand Slams, while participating in a few tourneys prior to the big contests. Federer even took it as far as to skip the French Open in each of the last two years as this has been a tournament that has been dominated by Nadal. Federer has only won once at Roland-Garros and now he has chose not to waste his energy playing in a tournament that he more than likely will not win. And the proof is in the pudding as Federer has won three Grand Slam Titles since the start of 2017.
In stark contrast to what Federer is doing, some of the other top male tennis players in the world such as Djokovic and Murray have found themselves chasing titles at every tournament possible in order to finish the season ranked first overall and it’s catching up to them as neither man has been right since mid-2016. Djokovic has not won a Grand Slam since the 2016 French Open, while he was eliminated in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open. And in the case of Murray, he has not won a Grand Slam since Wimbledon in 2016, while he missed last year’s U.S. Open along with the most recent edition of the Australian Open as the push to succeed recently by him and Djokovic has caught up to them. But if Djokovic who currently owns 12 Grand Slam Titles wants to get it going for himself once more in regards to picking up consecutive Grand Slam Titles like he was a few years ago, it might be time for him to take a look at Federer.
From 2013-2016, Federer did not win one Grand Slam Title as he generally was unable to overcome Djokovic who was on a roll. But now Federer has fresher legs because he paces himself. On top that, Federer generally knows how to dust off opponents early in order to preserve himself as the tournament progresses. En route to winning the Australian Open, Federer never went more than three sets in any of his matches until the final where it took him five sets to defeat a very game Marin Cilic. Federer also benefited from Chung Hyeon retiring due to an injury in the second set of their semifinal match which allowed him to be fresher for the final. Federer had already won the first set over Hyeon and was in control during the second set, but you never look a gift horse in the mouth.
So now Federer will more than likely participate in some of the bigger tournaments during the hard surface season such as Indian Wells, but he’ll probably skip clay season altogether for the second consecutive year as he appears to be content with his one French Open Title. However you better believe that once things shift to grass that Federer will be on top of his game as he looks to add to his record eight Wimbledon Championships. Federer won a pair of Grand Slam Titles last year by pacing himself, and it has already been beneficial for him in 2018.