Tennis 101 With Roger Federer

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

“Here’s a helpful solo drill,Roger Federer took to social media on Tuesday, in another installment of what has become his #tennisathome video series. “Let’s see what you got!” For 59 seconds – and without saying a word or directly looking at the camera – Federer could be seen hitting solo against a green wall. He hit more than a couple hundred taps, but it showed just how magnificent the Swiss great’s hand-eye coordination really is. Federer’s parting shot: “Choose your hat wisely.” 🎩😉👊

Later on in the day, after scores of FedFans shared their own hitting solo videos on Twitter with the 20-time Grand Slam champion at his suggestion, Federer began critiquing them. He offered tersely-worded, positive comments and complimented everyone who wore a hat. Among the many comments he doled out, one of our favorites: “Love the confidence not to drop the 🎾 on the 🐶”

What they’re saying

Speaking of Roger Federer, Cristian Garín of Chile, ranked No. 18, in a recent Instagram Live conversation, said of the Swiss maestro: “I would love to play Federer one day. It’s a dream. It’s the player that I would love to watch play everyday on every surface. It’s incredible how he still enjoys the sport after everything he won, having a family and all that…”

• Meanwhile, Noah Rubin of the United States, ranked No. 225, in a recent interview with Racquet magazine’s Giri Nathan, expressed this thought: “I think no tennis until September is probably somewhat rational. But at the same time, tennis has to be one of the last things to go back to normal because of how international it is. Even if you still quarantine the tournaments to just having them in the U.S., you’re still getting players from around the world. So there’s really no winning for tennis.”

What they’re writing

• Reem Abulleil, The National (U.A.E.) tennis columnist: “As it is with anything in life, a time of crisis can bring to light underlying issues that had previously been concealed, or had not seemed pressing enough to address in the past. …

“Now more than ever, tennis needs to unite, and this hiatus could pave the way for some serious restructuring, if the powers that be choose to prioritise it. The sport has gone from petty Davis Cup-v-ATP Cup infighting to facing a pandemic. If that doesn’t force a jolt of perspective, I don’t know what will.”

Simon Briggs, Daily Telegraph (London) tennis correspondent: “Imagine an artist slaving over a portrait for a private owner, in the knowledge that it will never appear in a gallery. That is rather how Neil Stubley has felt since Wednesday’s Wimbledon cancellation. 

“As head groundsman at the All England Club, Stubley’s work continues. For one thing, he must defend his territory from foreign flora. For another, the Government could change tack at any moment, allowing club members to return to their pastimes. But it is not quite the same.”

What they’re tweeting

• Daily during the coronavirus crisis, Christopher Clarey, tennis correspondent for The New York Times, has been tweeting some simple but meaningful “Shots we are missing,” odes which spotlight both players and the photographers who captured them in action. For instance, on Monday, Clarey showcased Rafael Nadal from last year’s US Open and Wimbledon as photographed by Getty and Clive Brunskill.

• Ninety-sixth ranked American Kristie Ahn, Queen of TikTok videos, “The only way I will do a Tiktok dance trend.” 😌

• Recently retired Caroline Wozniacki announced her May 18 exhibition against 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, dubbed “The Final One” at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be rescheduled for a later date.