Former world no.1 Mats Wilander has hinted at what must be going through Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s minds regarding Roger Federer’s form at the Australian Open 2020. Djokovic is set to face the Swiss tennis star in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Though Federer has managed to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament, his performances haven’t been upto the mark per se and he had to save as many as seven match points against Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-final.
‘Federer an all-time great’ – Djokovic looks forward to semi-final
“It is really bad,” Wilander told Express Sport. “He is spending too much time on the court and everybody knows he is 38 and it just adds to ‘Oh but he is winning the close matches’.
“Wow wow wow, hold on a second. He is winning the close matches because he has won 20 majors. He is spending a lot of time against guys you have never heard of before.
“Nadal and Djokovic are eating it up. ‘Oh he is not playing well so he is tired’, that is the worst preparation for him for sure.
“For himself he might have some confidence winning them but it is never going to outweigh the perception of the other players have of how he is feeling because of long matches,” he said.
“It’s literally all you think about. They are thinking about the other guy first,” Wilander added.
“It doesn’t matter how they feel because it is not about that. They are thinking ‘How can I make this guy worse, do I have to or am I just better than him?’
“That is still based on him. The levels you have to play is based on the other guy. I don’t think for one second that it is a good thing that some players don’t want to know their draw.
“I believe it is a great thing to put that out of your mind to stay in the present moment and play the guy and not think about the future, I get that.
“But to not know what is going on in the locker room I don’t think there is any players in the draw that don’t do. There are some weaker players further down the draw who may think about who they are playing if they win this one but they won’t make it to the end anyway.”