Roger Federer has been playing with an old racket for quite some time. And for a while, you couldn’t blame him. We’d probably all be happy making it to 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals.
But then came Wimbledon, and the stunning second-round loss that left us questioning whether this is the beginning of the end for Rog. We pointed out the role his outdated racket was likely playing in the decline.
Then Tuesday, Federer announced at the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg that he would be switching to a larger racket. Specifically, he would increase the racket head size from 90 square inches to 98 — which, yes, is a thing you can legally do in tennis.
A larger racket head provides a larger sweet spot, as well as more power and spin. The other top players all use racket heads this large or bigger, as this SI piece points out.
A series of YouTube videos of Federer practicing in Hamburg with the new, larger racket has been making the rounds:
We’ll see how it works out for Federer. We’re all in favor of anything that keeps him viable for longer. He recently dropped to No. 5 in the ATP rankings for the first time in a decade. Here’s one final look at his old racket, for you nostalgic types:
(Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Upon hearing the news, Alex Rodriguez has asked Major League Baseball if he can add eight inches of thickness to his bat.