Coach Patrick Mouratoglou disagrees with claim that a 36-year-old Roger Federer was as good as Novak Djokovic is today. In 2017 – the year in which Federer turned 36 – the Swiss won the Australian Open and Wimbledon. For Federer, it were his first Grand Slam titles since 2012.
In 2018 February, Federer also returned to No 1 for the first time in five years – at the time he became the oldest world No 1. Djokovic, who turned 36 in May, made all four Grand Slam finals this year and won three Slams. Also, Djokovic finished the year ranked as the top-ranked player in the world.
Just like Federer did, Djokovic is also enjoying great success in his mid-thirties. But Mouratoglou thinks there is a certain difference in those two cases.
Mouratoglou on 2017 Federer versus 2023 Djokovic
“I often hear that what Roger did between 2017 and 2019 is as good as what Novak is doing now, and that Roger was a better player in 2017, 2018, than before.
But I think there is a major difference. I think that Roger was a better in a way in 2018 than he was 10 years before. Actually, for one main reason. His backhand. He took a major decision and started to take the ball much earlier on the backhand side and to return flat rather than return slice systematically.
But Roger was not able to win three out of four Grand Slams and be consistent all year long and be really one step above all the other players. This didn’t happen. Novak, I feel the difference is Novak he’s physically as good today as he was when he was 26.
And that’s a huge difference. Because when you are that level physically, you can be consistent all year long and beat all the best players in the world on a consistent basis. That’s a big difference,” Mouratoglou said in a video uploaded on his Instagram.
Source: Tennis World USA