Jim Courier and Martina Navratilova have different views on Roger Federer's shock defeat in the third round of the Australian Open against Italian Andreas Seppi.
While tennis legend Martina, who now coaches WTA number 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, blames Roger's too short off-season and lack of preparation, the men's tennis former world number 1 from United States said in a Tennis Channel debate with Brett Haber and Jon Wertheim that the Swiss' game strategy during his last match in Australia was wrong.
Courier is convinced that Seppi is not the kind of opponent you can attack all the time, like Federer did, only winning 29 out of his 50 points played at the net. «He should have been reading the tea leaves. If you’re not having success, when the facts change, you have to change with them and he didn’t do it. You give Seppi a target and he can beat you. I don’t think Federer realized what was happening out there...»
Speaking to the media the day before, Navratilova said she believes that Davis Cup, off-season commitments (the International Premier Tennis League exhibitions) and the Brisbane final against Milos Raonic left Federer with little fuel in the tank. «You have to think that a lack of an off-season had something to do with it, he had to be low on reserves coming into the tournament.»
Asked if the world number 2 has got a real chance to win his 18th Major, Navratilova, a model of longevity in professional tennis, said he can. «Can he? Yes. Will he? The problem is when you get older, it’s not that you’re not consistent enough, it’s when you are a little off you’re more off. You can still win matches like that when you’re 25, 27, but when you’re thirty something, on your bad days you lose. And you can’t afford to have that bad day.» (mc)
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