He is now playing with the best grass-court game of his career, but even Novak Djokovic believes that Roger Federer is walking the tightrope between too much and too little. It is hard to overstate the value of the former Wimbledon champion taking time, resting and recuperating, after a taxing and emotional 15-month on-court run. He added another trophy, another men’s Grand Slam for his collection, at the U.S. Open
last week, but the run included the drama of his first-round loss at Wimbledon to a player he beat many times for the BNP Paribas Open title there a year earlier. Federer — usually seen as the consummate professional in his game, be it on court or on the practice court — acknowledged after his U.S. Open victory over Marin Cilic that he was torn between doing the maximum possible to recover, and taking less rest. That
was after Djokovic said last week he was seeing a “marquee name” return “faster and earlier than what I ever hoped for.” “It makes you question how healthy, physically, are these players because the athletes who are physically fit are really the ones dominating the game,” Djokovic said.