Federer confirms ‘SABR’ still part of arsenal

  • AFP, Singapore
  • Updated: Dec 19, 2015 16:50 IST
Roger Federer of Obi UAE Royals hits a return against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka of OUE Singapore Slammers during their men's singles match at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). (AFP Photo)

World number three Roger Federer said on Friday that he will keep improving his chip-and-charge “SABR” tactic as his surprise weapon in the run up to the 2016 season.

Short for “Sneak Attack by Roger”, it involves rushing towards the net at the moment of a second serve and chipping back the ball, shortening his opponent’s response time.

The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam winner, who was in Singapore for the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), successfully employed it against Novak Djokovic at the Cincinnati final in August.

“I would love to keep trying it, now I have time to practise, so I am sure I will spend some time on that as well and see if... it’s something I should keep up,” said the 34-year-old.

“I am happy that it kind of worked, it was fun and it was all over the news, I thought it was quite exciting for me personally,” he said, giving credit to head coach Severin Luthi for the tactic.

Federer enters the 2016 season with a new coaching team after replacing his idol Stefan Edberg with a new assistant coach, Croatian Ivan Ljubijic.

“I’ll stay in touch with Stefan Edberg, he’s been a wonderful guy, an incredible inspiration and motivation for me,” said Federer.

“Unfortunately we won’t be working together as much anymore but he said he would like to come around for some tournaments and we’ll still be in touch,” he added.

Federer said earlier this month that Edberg had originally signed up as an assistant coach only for 2014.

Federer, who shows no sign of retiring and hopes to win his first ever Olympics singles gold in Rio 2016, said he was happy playing in the IPTL and hoped to return next year.

The IPTL, which was also played in Japan, The Philippines, India and Dubai, promotes a shortened, speeded-up version of the game that organisers say is more television friendly than the traditional format.

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