Claudio Mezzadri has revealed that Roger Federer has to undergo strenuous stretches and massages before and after games to avoid injury during a season after 20 years of performing at the top level. The Swissman played more than 50 games in the current year, winning seven titles, including two Grand Slams – the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
However, Mezzadri believes Federer has to plan his calendar properly if he has to be fit for years to come. The 36-year-old missed the entire clay court circuit in the current year but the move paid off as he was able to preserve himself for the grass and hard courts, which are his speciality.
Federer's biggest takeaway from the year was his ability to manage his fitness, which came with playing fewer games and choosing his tournaments intelligently. However, he has revealed that he regrets missing out on the majority of the clay tournaments and Mezzadri has confirmed that he hopes to rectify that when the ATP season begins next year.
For the coming year, Federer will represent Switzerland at the Hopman Cup where he will be joined by Alexander Zverev and ATP Finals runner-up David Goffin. The 36-year-old has designs to be number one in the ATP rankings next year but is mindful that obsessing on this will affect this overall game.
It was a near miss for the 19-time Grand Slam winner, as Rafael Nadal beat him to top spot in the year end rankings, but the Swiss ace holds the record for the most weeks at No 1 with 302. However, he has been asked to take things lightly if he has to extend his career and establish a precedent for the generations ahead.
"After 20 years and 1400 tennis matches, to be able to maintain the necessary levels, it has to makes an impact," Mezzadri said, as quoted by the Express. "Talking to his coach I found that before playing a match Roger takes several hours of stretching and massage.
"Then he heats up and then back exercises, and after the game again, stretching and relaxation for the back. We understand, therefore, that picking and choosing his programme is crucial to ensure he does not over do it."