Tennis

Two of the greatest of all time.

Pete Sampras helped Roger Federer with career-changing decision

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Roger Federer made a career-changing decision back in 2014.

After a hard season in 2013, the Swiss decided to change his 90-square-inch racket, and switched to a 97 square-inch frame in 2014.

This decision proved to be a turning point and got Federer back to his greatest.

And, it seems that "The Maestro" discussed his move with all-time great Pete Sampras before making the vital decision, according to Greg Rusedski.

“It was very brave to change the racket. He talked to Pete Sampras about it because they both had the same coach Paul Annacone," Rusedski explains.

“Pete always said 'I wish I'd change to a bigger frame' and Roger was willing to do that."

By making the switch, Federer gained more power on his backhand, plus his serving also became way better.

Greg Rusedski shared his view on how exactly Roger is feeling about the sport.

“He hurt his back with Paul Annacone when he went through that change and he put it on pause a little while and then did it.

2017 ATP 1000 Shanghai Rolex Masters - Day 8

“That's the genius of Roger. He's always looking to get better.

”He loves what he does. I remember at the end of my career he was walking out of the locker room laughing and joking.”

In March this year, Federer was talking about the racket change and the pros and cons he faced. He admitted that the 97 square-inch frame is much harder to control, but once he got used to it, it gave him a lot extra.

"I think the backhand has gotten better because I have been able to put in so many hours onto the racket.

"And since this year, I feel super comfortable with the racket, and I think I have gained confidence stepping into it.

2017 ATP 1000 Shanghai Rolex Masters - Day 8

"I think it was the work that I had in (the offseason). You never play 10 backhand-to-backhand shots, but in practice you practice those a ton and eventually they are ingrained in the system.

“You need good footwork, because if the footwork is not good, you won't be on top of the ball."

The one-handed backhand is Federer's trade mark and one of his most powerful assets, especially when facing his biggest rival - Rafael Nadal.

Nadal holds a positive 23-15 record against Federer, but since 2014, when the Swiss changed his racket, he has only lost once and won the last five clashes.

His most recent success came in Shanghai on Sunday, when he defeated Nadal 6-4 6-3 to win the trophy.

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Topics:
Maria Sharapova
Novak Djokovic
Serena Williams
Andy Murray
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer

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