Roger Federer: "My fitness coach is my secret weapon to success"
Roger Federer's training and workout goes largely without tech. However, not so his leisure. Roger really enjoys an occasional game of e-tennis.
What methods do you resort to in order to recover after a tough tournament?
Recovery has really always been the secret in sports. Everybody tries to look for the next big thing that allows them to recover as quickly as possible. I've tried some yoga when I had back pains but when you're on the road it's hard to maintain the same routine all the time. I actually do a lot of core exercises and body mobilizations. Especially in the morning to help me wake up and make sure I can walk straight. And then I believe in getting enough sleep, eating healthy, doing my stretching and having my massage.
Is tech a factor when it comes to either recovery or to the training regime and workout sessions?
I'm sure it is for many players. I rely more on the human factor. My secret weapon to my longevity and also to my success has been my fitness coach, Pierre Paganini, whom I've known since I was 14 years old. We have been working together for almost 25 years now. Pierre knows my body inside out, he knows me as a person very well, he knows when I'm fit, he knows when I'm tired, he knows when I need a break or when he can push me. Pierre doesn't need to do any tests with me because he knows just by feeling where I'm at. I think that is a big advantage over some of the other players who change their fitness coaches from time to time.
Still, tech is important to be successful in today's tennis.
Yes, and it's getting more and more important. Just look at all the data you can gather from players in terms of their tendencies. There are a lot of statistics out there. Then you obviously have string and racket technology. I speak to Wilson constantly trying to figure out what the best racket and best technology is. Coaches are using different tech-supported ways to analyze matches. So, yes, I definitely think it's a major factor in influencing success nowadays.
How has tech changed tennis as such?
Some of the most obvious changes happened on the court. With Hawk-Eye you can ask for a call to be overturned and see the replay again. That maybe even helped me to win the Australian Open for that matter. Then we have the shot clock that prevents a player from taking too much time to serve and thus irritating the opponent and delaying the match. And if you look at how people can now watch sports in general on streaming devices or on their smart phones … There was a time when people used to listen to sports on the radio, and today you can have a super slow-motion replay of anything you want to see. So things have changed quite a lot and I think definitely for the better. It's more exciting for the viewer and has certainly helped advance sports and its global popularity.