Roger Federer’s struggles in 2013 are unlikely to hasten his exit from the game and the Swiss master could hit back and win next year’s Australian Open, according to Rod Laver.
The 75-year-old Laver, the only player to win the calendar grand slam twice, suggested Federer’s lean period was more akin to a drop-off in form rather than a symptom of terminal decline.
“It’s a tough time. He’s 32 and not playing his best tennis by any means,” Laver told reporters at Melbourne Park, where he launched his autobiography “Rod Laver - A memoir” on Thursday.
“It’s sometimes hard to analyse someone of that ability. But once in a while it happened to me where for no reason ... you’re just flat. What’s happened? What is it that made you play your best tennis?
Now ranked sixth in the world, Federer is no certainty to play in the season-ending ATP Tour Finals, an unthinkable prospect only a few months ago.
Although admitting to suffering a crisis of confidence at Flushing Meadows, Federer has vowed to play on and has talked about the prospect of playing in another Olympics at the 2016 Rio Games.
“I don’t foresee him saying he’s going to hang his rackets up because he’s had a bad year,” said Laver, who won 11 grand slam titles and is regularly compared with Federer in debates about the game’s all-time greatest player.