The 2013 Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli says Roger Federer wants to make sure he stays at the top of the tennis pyramid to protect his records and win Wimbledon.
Federer, who will turn 40 in August this year, made a return to tennis last month in Doha after a 14 month break from the game due to surgery on a recurring knee injury.
Although he won his first match against Dan Evans, he lost his second and then decided to miss the Dubai Open in order to focus on his fitness ahead of the clay season.
Bartoli thinks Federer used Doha as a means to assess his match fitness ahead of what is most important to him – Wimbledon.
“I think he was there to just evaluate where he was, what was missing in his game,’ Bartoli said on the Match Points podcast.
“I think he made the assessment pretty early on, probably during his first match [against Dan Evans], that he needed more fitness.
“That’s probably why he’s added a number of matches and a number of clay tournaments to his schedule especially, because he really wants to win Wimbledon.
“That’s his major priority for this year, and of course after that the Olympics.’
‘The clay for him is not about the matches, it’s just about the fitness as you play a match,’ she continued. ‘Clay will require him to play longer rallies, and that’s what you need when you’ve been off-court for so long.
“Your muscles need some sort of memory back in order for him to perform at his best on the court surface that suits him the best, which is grass.’
Bartoli thinks holding on to his records will be an important factor for Federer this season, but believes he will make a considered approach with regard to his health.
“I think he wants to stay at the top of the Grand Slam category especially, I think that counts a lot. Of course, he was the first to get to 20, and he wants to stay at the top of the pyramid.
“Djokovic already beat his record of weeks at world No. 1 and I don’t think he wants to lose all his records.
“But, of course you have to take into consideration his health. He’s probably not going to put his body on the line just based on one record, he has achieved enough.
“But, is the record somewhere in his mind? I truly think so.”
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