Are you a values driven performer? Roger Federer speaks of positivity and privilege

After his poor performance on Sunday against Kei Nishikori earlier in the week at the ATF Finals, Roger Federer had to reconnect with a number of his key values to move on in the event with a 6-2 6-3 win against Dominic Thiem yesterday.

Federer spoke before the match of being more positive in his mindset, and most notably he had to remind himself 'what a privilege it is to play in London.'  Although he's in theory 'earned the opportunity' to play at the end of year finals, the fact he still 'chooses' at this stage of his career to see what he does (play tennis for a living in front of huge and adoring crowds) as a privilege must be a hugely freeing concept in so much as, 'I'm privileged to be here playing, so let's give everything to it and enjoy every moment.'

What are your 'values' that drive you on as a performer?

Next Gen ATP Finals and the slice backhand

Plenty of evidence at this event that the slice backhand remains an integral part of a player's armoury.  Great antidote against the power forehand (keeps ball low forcing opponent to get the ball 'up and down' with reply thus taking away ball speed), an excellent 'change up' to break opponent's timing and rhythm (stroke as well as footwork) and in doing so challenging them to generate their own pace and of course a great defensive option.

Coaches, do we actively develop this stroke in our younger players or do they only develop it out of defensive necessity?

Everyball Hard Core No. 5 - Beat the bounce of your outgoing ball

Can you recover/reposition to the appropriate spot (lateral and vertical) ideally by the time your ball is landing on opponent's side of the court and certainly by time your opponent makes contact with their shot?

See Tiafoe do this at yesterday's Next Gen ATP Finals.  After hitting a down-line forehand (in a slight in/out direction to move his opponent) he repositions back beyond the middle of his baseline to bisect the angle of his opponent's two best possible replies, line or cross, to be ideally positioned to control the court and his space on his subsequent shot.

Interesting technique also on serve and forehand - high straight arm on serve leading to level shoulders in pre-throw position with abbreviated take-back and extreme inversion of racket face on the forehand preparation.  Will these be limiting factors in any way (efficiency or effectiveness) in the longer term or will his physical strength negate these possible flaws?  Always a great coaching debate.

ATP Top 16 rankings - the arrival of the next generation?

ATP Top 16 rankings as of today.

  1.  Novak Djokovic
  2. Rafael Nadal
  3. Roger Federer
  4. Juan Martin Del Potro
  5. Alexander Zverev
  6. Kevin Anderson
  7. Marin Cilic
  8. Dominic Thiem
  9. Kei Nishikori
  10. John Isner
  11. Karen Khachanov
  12. Borna Coric
  13. Fabio Fognini
  14. Kyle Edmund
  15. Stefanos Tsitsipas
  16. Danil Medvedev

Zverev, Khachanov, Coric, Edmund, Tsitsipas, and Medvedev all under 23.

Has the next gen finally arrived?