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Would Roger Federer make a good coach? Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray weigh in
It’s unlikely Federer will go into coaching, but if does, he has all the skills, even if dealing with mere mortals might not be too easy
After 24 years on the Tour, being a coach and travelling the world, sitting in the stands during matches, is probably not top of Roger Federer’s plans for the coming years as he begins his retirement.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner has more than enough money to never work again and he may just have had enough of tennis for a while, having played his last ever professional match on Friday, partnering Rafael Nadal in doubles at the Laver Cup.
He’s hinted he may do a bit of commentary at Wimbledon while in the short term, he intends to sit down to read and watch everything that people have said and written about him lately, soaking in everything that has surrounded the emotional farewell from the sport.
But if he does ever decide to be a mentor, or a coach, to a player on Tour in the future, watching him at the Laver Cup, it’s clear he has plenty to offer.
Djokovic: “I think Roger can offer a lot”
“It is really a unique experience of having always someone in your ear nearly every changeover, and that someone is obviously your greatest rivals,” Novak Djokovic said at the Laver Cup on Sunday.
“It’s very interesting to get insights of how they see the game and how they read a game, and they can give you some tips of their observations that could help.
“I think that Roger can offer a lot. I mean, it’s logical to expect him to be able to share so many useful and valuable things with anybody, really. I mean, if he ever would consider doing that, I’m sure that he’s going to bring a lot of positive things to the improvement of that player, whether male or female, in every aspect on and off the court, I’m sure.
“He’s undoubtedly one of the greatest players to play the game the way he played it, with his style and effortlessly. You know, people probably think that he was a god-given talent, but he always talks about the amount of time that he would have to spend working on perfecting the game so it looks easy.
“I respect that, and I know what he has to go through in order to execute the shots that seem easy but are actually very difficult to do.”
Matteo Berrettini, who readily admits he was inspired to play by Federer, believes Federer would be a great coach, if he wants to do it.
Murray: Dealing with less talented players may be tough
Andy Murray agrees but says Federer’s only real problem might be dealing with people who are less talented than himself.
“I’m sure if he was to coach one day, which he obviously doesn’t need to, he’d pick players that I’d imagine he’d be motivated to be coaching in the big matches and helping there,” Murray said.
“The one thing that is I think difficult when you are as talented and have as many options as him is to remember that not everybody can do the things that he did. Sometimes he might see a shot and be, like, oh, maybe, you know, he should have played that one.
“He had the ability to play everything and he had so many options at his disposal that that’s the challenging thing also as a coach sometimes. But look, he’s great on the side. He watches a lot of tennis. He loves the game.”
Federer set to stay close to the game, in some form
Federer said this week he had allowed himself to think about the idea of commentating, something he would never have believed up until about six months ago.
Whatever he does, he’s likely to stay close to tennis.
“I hope he remains part of tennis,” Murray said. “He said he would. I’m sure he will be here (at the Laver Cup). Maybe he does a little bit of TV here and there. I know how much he loves Wimbledon. Great for tennis if he can stay around a little bit.”