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Patrick Mouratoglou

Weekly recap: Italy wins Fed Cup, Federer's increased motivation

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Patrick Mouratoglou is a world-renowned tennis coach who has worked with Marcos Baghdatis and Aravane Rezai. His French tennis academy is considered one of the top in the world. He is a frequent contibuter to Busted Racquet.


What wonderful emotion showed by Roger Federer in Basel when he won on Sunday! The champ claimed his 65th title, so that alone explains why he was nearly in tears during the award's ceremony. I can point two reasons for this: First, this is a really special event for him, at home in front of an audience that is totally dedicated to him. Second, I think it proves how hard the Swiss worked since he asked Paul Annacone for help. After a season of struggles (because when you're Federer winning just one Grand Slam is a failure), he understood that if he really wanted to win majors it was high time to get back in great. He seems so much more motivated now and the signs we first noticed this summer don't lie: his look, his availability on the court and his offensive mindset are all improved. To see him play so many tournaments and being so focused and involved in each one totally shows his new spirit.

Federer said he was fit when compared to the same point last year and it showed. Though it wasn't the best match of the year, a win is a win. After winning the first set, Roger totally lost his rhythm and, subsequently, the second set. I felt he was searching for his game again and struggling a lot. I think he saw himself losing at that moment and it would have happened if only Novak Djokovic didn't blow all his chances to put away the match. Regardless, it's so refreshing to watch Federer, this amazing champion, being so hungry and then moved for an ATP 500 event!

- In Valencia, David Ferrer clinched his home-based tournament against Marcel Granollers, who had took over his side of the draw after the early defeat of Andy Murray. Speaking of the Scotsman, he's again way too erratic and his quest for a coach has been a joke. It's becoming urgent now. Murray needs someone to guide his game. I know I've said it a lot lately, but he's still going on without a real coach. I guess it can work if his goal is to be a top-five player. But if he truly wants to reach a higher spot and to finally achieve one or several wins in Grand Slam tournaments, he's going to have to make sure a top quality team surrounds him. Murray owns a lot of skills but his last two seasons are the ultimate proof of his lack of a clear guideline. With the fitness period coming after the Masters Cup, it'd be very interesting for him to pick someone in order to be in the best possible conditions to start this already important time of the next season.

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-- David Ferrer isn't the player people are talking about the most, but he wins a huge amount of matches per season. This year only Rafael Nadal has won more matches than him. He claimed three titles and reached two finals in 2010. He's some kind of mini-Nadal and an outstanding gladiator.

- The Paris Masters 1000 is starting this week. It's the last tournament before the Masters Cup. Rafal Nadal won't be there (officially because of a start of tendonitis in his left shoulder), Federer is in the midst of back-to-back-to-back tournaments. I find it reassuring that both champions learn about their mistakes. The Spaniard, unable to stop from playing in the past, has accepted that he needs to save his energy in order to stay healthy. So now he's taking rest when needed. The Swiss, not really involved at his best for the smaller events since a year has paid the price with lacking automatisms when it mattered in big tournaments. So now, he's playing every event and he's entering with a real commitment.


-- Bali, the last tournament of the season, has ended with the triumph of Ana Ivanovic, which isn't a surprise. The Serbian confirms once more that she's playing again at a really good level and, most important, that she has found the confidence she was severely lacking. The work done by Hein Gunthardt paid and that's exactly why I've been astonished when she announced their collaboration was over. After suffering so much and for so long, after having tried so many coaches, she had finally found someone able to bring her what she was needing the most: confidence, game plan and serenity. When I thought about their break up, I'm speechless. The surface in Bali, absolutely unusual on the tour because it's so quick and sleek, was suited very well the Serbian's game. It made her shine: a good serve with a nice slice, fast and flat groundstrokes were the main weapons to own on this court in Bali.

-- With Italy winning the Fed Cup final on Sunday, something is really worth our attention. Since 2004, only two countries have won the Fed Cup: Italy (three times) and Russia (three times). I hope this will make the French officials think about a way to help France to be at its best in this competition. Italy wins because of the huge cohesion of this team. They eat and train together all year long and not only in a week-long training camp. Russia wins because it is able to count on a lot of great players who are kept motivated to play Fed Cup by being allowed to keep their usual team to prepare the event. On each tie, private coaches of the girls are there, training their players and working all together for one bigger goal: the team success. Let's meditate on that ...

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