Paul Dorochenko worked as Roger Federer’s fitness trainer from 1998 to 2000, when the Swiss player was more than just a teenager. Dorochenko said that at the time the Swiss was much more different than how he is now especially mentally.
‘He was so confusing. One day he was going to practice with no rackets, one day he was not coming, and he was not stopping to be crazy and telling useless stories’, Dorochenko admitted. ‘He was more talented than others, but he worked less and was getting distracted.
It was complicated.’ Dorochenko also told a funny story: ‘In 1998 we went to the Orange Bowl, in Miami, and during a warm-up, he turned his foot and shouted like a crazy person. We thought it was just one of the things.
But it was serious. It was Friday and he would play on Monday. I had to do a deep treatment on his muscle, which was so painful that he was biting a thing in order not to shout. And after three days of a big pain, he won the match on one foot and he won the title.
Federer had everything big, he believed in himself and he was copying Pete Sampras. He had the same personality as him. He was struggling a lot on the backhand, but he counted on an impressive serve and forehand for his age. Once I got angry with him because he told the German newspaper Bild that he would be the world number one, and I replied to him: “Go asking it to your friends of the Swiss Federation and let’s see what happens.’