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Federer's Aggressive Approach

Melbourne, Australia

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer is adopting more aggressive tactics.

At 32 years old and holding a record 17 Grand Slams, Roger Federer would be forgiven for sticking to his game plan. But entering his 57th Grand Slam with a bigger racquet-head and debutant champion coach Stefan Edberg, Federer has congruently adopted a new approach to his ball-striking: be aggressive. And after one of his most dominant wins of the season, dropping just three games in the opening two sets against Blaz Kavcic today, it appears to be working. 

“I think in these conditions and on the hard courts it's what we want to try to do, especially early in the tournament, without taking stupid chances,” Federer said about his more attacking game style. “I was overly aggressive at times, but I'd rather be that than overly passive. But the error counts started mounting as well.

“It was something I was trying to do a little bit today, mix it up, swing the serve around a little bit, also come in. I was in command on my serve. That was for me most important, that is there I'm rock solid.”

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Success isn’t finite and Federer, slipping to the sixth seeding at the Australian Open this year for the first time since 2003, is hoping a transition to a more attacking game style will turn the tide against his dominating foes, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, breeding a new era of success. His passion for the tennis tour is the one constant in his approach to tennis.

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“I like the check ins at airports. Packing the bags is good fun. What else? Playing in 42 degrees heat,” the Swiss joked.

“It's like a traveling circus in a way. You put up your tents, stay there for some time. Tennis is something I really enjoy, and doing all of that with my wife and kids is something that I'm very happy about, that it's all working out. That we actually make it work and enjoy it, all of us, going to different places.”

Despite hiring Edberg, one of the prolific serve-volleyers of the game, an attacking transition to the net was never the focus. 

“He was probably one of the greatest of all times in terms of serve and volley,” Federer said of Edberg.  “He moved so smoothly and he did it so well. So, sure, if he can give me some input on the serve and volley and the volleys in general, that would be a good thing.  

“But I worked a ton with Tony Roche on my volleys as well, throughout my career anyway, so I didn't hire Edberg just because of my volleys or because of the transition game.”

While Federer admitted he didn’t feel pressure playing in front of his childhood idol turned coach, a line of tennis greats might just be the answer to getting the Swiss to the net.

“Of course, if they'd all be sitting in a line, like 20 guys, it's a different story. I'd think, I better improve my volleys a little bit because they all used to volley better than me. So that would make me feel bad. But maybe I got other things. I don't know.”

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