After his fifth Dubai title in seven finals, Roger Federer reflected back to his earlier days when the Swiss use to actually serve and volley on many points, especially when he beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001.
“Looking back how I played Sampras in 2001,” Federer said. “I was serve and volleying most of the time on first serves. So I definitely played more aggressive when was younger just because I didn’t believe in my ability from the baseline against the likes of Agassi, Ferrer, Nalbandian, you name it.
“So for me, that was a big, big step into the very top of the ranking, I would say, to actually improve my baseline game. Then I couldn’t believe how great I became from the baseline. Then obviously at times, because it was working so well, I just maintained that.”
Federer is still in the No. 3 ranking position after consecutive titles in Rotterdam and Dubai. But Roger will a good chance to add to this point haul this month at Indian Wells and Miami.
Last year season Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in the Indian Wells SF and to Rafael Nadal in the same round at Miami.
After struggling through the early part of 2011, Federer has turned it on winning five of the last seven tournaments he has entered.
“I didn’t doubt my ability,” Federer said. “I’m defending much better than maybe I was in the middle of last year where I felt like I couldn’t come out of tough defensive positions anymore. I was able to sort of turn it around. It started midway through the French Open and then through Wimbledon, even though I ended up losing. But I felt like my game was very good. That’s proved I was heading in the right direction. Now just have to keep it up.”
Federer will enjoy a first round bye at Indian Wells before a second round match on the weekend. Federer’s won the title three times in 2004 (Henman), 2005 (Hewitt) and 2006 (Blake).
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