Why Even the Best Must Change

He didn’t want to do it. But he knew he needed to. Being the best ever didn’t matter. He had to change.

Roger Federer, the greatest men’s tennis player of all-time, recently made the decision to change from a racket with a 90-square-inch head to one with a 98-square-inch head. After years of playing with a racket that netted him 17 Grand Slam singles titles, 257 Grand Slam match victories, and 302 weeks as world #1 – all records – Federer made the move to try to remain in the top echelons of his sport.

He understood the case for change. Both of his main rivals – Nadal and Djokovic – use rackets with 100-square-inch heads which gives them a larger sweet spot, more power and more spin. And Pete Sampras, second to Federer on the all-time Grand Slam list with 14 titles, admitted in 2010 that he regretted being close-minded towards the latter part of his career and not changing from an 85-square-inch racket head.

Still, there’s no guarantee that by changing Federer will continue to be a top player. Yet it’s almost certain that by not changing, he won’t.

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