Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash discussed 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer’s impact on tennis, saying that he is one of the few players with the talent and ability to “change the game”. Cash says Federer’s elegance and and magnificent movement made him one of the most visually appealing players to ever perform on a tennis court.
“Federer raised the bar, there’s no doubt about that, and he raised it so quickly. He’s a beautiful player. He can do everything. Some players come along and change the game. Bjorn Borg changed the game, Lendl changed the game, Federer changed the game. Federer came along and he had everything. He is beautiful to watch, so elegant, and the way that he moves is phenomenal. I love watching the way he moves. And he’s very different, with very flowing shots.”
While he is a great admirer of the Swiss star’s game, he admits that there are certainly “weird” aspects to it that have a negative impact on his overall performance.
“Technically, there are some weird things in his game – he was the first player to do certain things, with his head positions. The main thing was his head position, as after contact he keeps his head right down, which is very rare. You hardly see that. It’s like his head is stuck. It’s one thing to watch the ball until contact, and another to keep the head stuck down after the shot. He’s incredibly flexible. But he’s had problems on his backhand, in that he can’t generate as much pace as he needs to against certain players.”
The Aussie suggests that if tennis surfaces were still as quick as they were in the 1970’s-80s, Federer would still be winning Grand Slam titles.
“If Federer had played in an era when they had quicker courts, he would still be winning grand slams. He has come along at a time when everything is slowed down.”