Federer hit 12 aces and won 80 per cent of the points on his first serve as he beat Richard Gasquet to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open yesterday.
The Swiss took six months off in 2016 to deal with back and knee injuries and has since become known as one of the best servers in the game, roaring back to win two Grand Slams last year.
“The problem is, when you have back issues, when you’re scared or you don’t have the confidence in your body, it robs you by, I don’t know, let’s say any percent, 20 per cent or 30 per cent of your capabilities maybe on that particular shot only, but it’s enough to make you almost half the player that you normally are,” Federer said.
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“Sometimes it takes time, you know. When it hurts, it hurts. It’s just not point-for-point mentality because it’s difficult.
“Finally when you’re free again, you find better zones, more consistency. Consistency is a big thing in our sport.
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“I think right now I’m fine again. Look, bad backs always come and go I think for all of us players. They come and go.
“You just have to deal with it as good as possible. You hope they don’t hit you at the wrong times, and that when it does hit you, you get over it very quickly.
“Sometimes rest is the only option, to be quite honest.”
Federer was close to flawless against Gasquet, whom he has now beaten 17 times in their 19 professional meetings.
The Frenchman could not force a break point until the third set, labelling his opponent’s serve “impossible” to deal with, and the Swiss cruised into the fourth round in straight sets.
“I’m very happy that I was able to rise to a level that I needed to beat Richard,” Federer added.
“It was tough. The score shows it, as well. I could have done it maybe a bit faster.
“At the same time I’m happy to have done it the way it happened. I was pleased. I think I had some good shots.
“Totally different conditions today. From 10 per cent humidity, we went to 75 per cent. That was interesting. I think we were both feeling it. All of a sudden you were sweating like mad. It was different.
“I was happy the way I played. I also thought Richard, we both played a good level again, so it was fun.”