Federer looks for 'that little extra' with return to serve-and-volley roots

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 /by
AP
AP

Roger Federer says he is trying to serve-and-volley more on grass again, but will have to see what amount will work on the surface these days.

Federer said he occasionally employed serve-and-volley while winning the title in Halle a week ago. ''But here the surface is slower again. I have to readjust and see against who does it work and how do you do it,'' he told the press after his first-round victory at Wimbledon.

At the same time, he observed that a commitment is required to play the style effectively.

''I think as a traditional serve-and volley player, which I'm clearly not any more, they're used to taking return winners,'' he said. ''It's the overall picture, you have to be able to see that it's worth it—it's putting pressure, on the opponent, knowing that any short ball will be attacked, there will not be too much rhythm out there unless you decide you want it,'' he said. ''It's easy to serve and volley at 40-0, but can you do it at 15-30?''

His coach, legendary serve-and-volleyer Stefan Edberg, has been there to ''reinforce the concept that it is possible,'' said Federer, but noted he had once used it frequently himself.

''For years, I started to serve-and-volley once, twice a set?'' said Federer. ''But I remember still how I played in 2001 when I made the quarters here. I serve and volleyed 80 percent on the first serve, 30 to 50 percent second serve. It was just normal. I even did some in 2003.''

Now, looking for ''that little extra'' to win points more easily, he is once again turning towards the net. While returns have improved and the grass has slowed, Federer sees his bigger racquet giving him an advantage on serve.

While the tournament has been won from the baseline for years, the seven-time Wimbledon champion is still of the opinion that it is not the only way to triumph.

''I think, there's a way to do it here,'' he said. ''You need to be able to serve well, move well at net, anticipate well, come in on the right shots in the right way.''

Federer will meet another attacking player, Gilles Muller, in the second round of the tournament.

For complete Wimbledon coverage, including updated draws and reports from Steve Tignor, head to our tournament page.

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