Why is Roger Federer playing some of his best tennis at the age of 37 years? It was Riccardo Piatti, a former Novak Djokovic’s coach when the Serb was a teenager and current Borna Coric’s coach, to give an answer.
“Because he is the most technical out of everyone”, Piatti told Il Tennis Italiano. “You always have to care about the technique. Then yeah, physically he is very good. But the 70% out of the shots at a high level ends between three or four shots, and the technique needs to be as best as possible.
Then hitting well is one thing, a lot of people do it. Playing well is another.” In December 2018 Garbine Muguruza and her coach Sam Sumyk went at the Piatti Tennis Center to improve some aspects of the Spanish player’s game.
“It was a satisfaction”, Piatti admitted. “They won two Grand Slams, becoming world No. 1. They won more than me. We spoke to each other and he wanted her to fix a serve issues and he sent me some videos. We spoke in September, they came here in December and they had 12 training sessions.
After the first one, he approached me and he told me: “Just do it all, look at other things as well” And I told her a couple of things. I wanted her to take the ball from a bigger distance. In order to do it, she had to switch the shoulders earlier.
Coaching a player who does not know me does not make you calm. She trusted me. They thanked me for their advice.” On how he got passionate about tennis, the 60-year-old concluded: “Tennis is a mental shape of mine: I got passionate about it because I wanted to figure out how it worked but as I was trying to figure out, I was trying to search for myself.
Like everyone, as a 20-year-old you ask yourself who you are and you look for an answer everywhere, even in what you do. I did not think about tennis as a job. It was research: little by little, I started giving myself answers.”