Five-Time Cincinnati Champ Roger Federer Says He’s Fit, Motivated And Has A Good Mind-Set
by Tom Gainey | August 12th, 2013, 10:03 am

Five-time tournament champion Roger Federer is in Cincinnati this week hoping to defend his 2012 title. After a very poor start to the summer – three losses to players outside the Top 50 – the Swiss is hoping that Cincinnati will serve as a launching pad to bigger and better things now that his back is healthy again.

“So far so good. I’m motivated. I’m feeling better and I am entering Cincinnati with a good mind set,” Federer said in a Q&A with the Cincinnati Enquirer. “That’s, right now, it’s key. Now if I could win more matches, that would be good because I did win a title here, and that makes me think I can do something great here. As every other event, you always struggle in the first round.”

Federer switched racquets after Wimbledon, moving to a larger frame. But because of his back injury he says couldn’t properly test the new racquet, so the trial continues in Cincinnati.

“I couldn’t actually play proper tennis, get into the right routines, play the right shots at the right time, because you start compromising a bit.

“I played also Hamburg and Gstaad with it but because of the issues I had, I couldn’t even really focus on how was I feeling the ball. I was just trying to get through the matches, really. So, yeah, we’ll so how it goes. But so far I am happy with the racquet,” he told the Enquirer.

Federer admits though, that at 32 while his passion is as strong as ever his body isn’t.

“My passion is sky-high and that’s why I’m still doing it,” he told the paper. “I love what I’m doing and I feel very fortunate that I do have this opportunity day-in, day-out to do it. But clearly I’ve played a lot of matches. I’ve played for a very long time. I feel like I just have to do more in terms of getting ready today than I ever have.”

Federer will begin his Western & Southern Open title defense on Tuesday against either 2-time finalist Mardy Fish or Philipp Kohlschreiber.

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11 Comments for Five-Time Cincinnati Champ Roger Federer Says He’s Fit, Motivated And Has A Good Mind-Set

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Correct me if I;m wrong, but this is the last big tournament Fed won, isn’t it? Anything short of the finals and his ranking will plummet and his days of challenging for titles will suddenly seem like distant history.
Come on Rog!

holdserve Says:

If Fed is indeed fading, every draw hereafter will be unbalanced. For it to be balanced, we need a consistent top 4 where each is capable of beating the other three. This year Ferrer was consistent but he is not capable of beating the other three. Delpo is capable of it but he is not consistent.
Berdych and Tsonga belong in the small four.
Jerzy? Reminds me too much of Safin.
Raonic, one dimensional.
Who can fill in the gap if Fed fades?
Delpo is our best bet so far.

grendel Says:

“Jerzy? Reminds me too much of Safin”

He kind of looks a bit like Safin, quite a lot even. And he can go bananas on court, though I suspect he is reigning in that aspect of himself. But there, imo, the resemblance ends.

Safin was a genius – at his best, up there with any of the all time greats. He was also something of a playboy. You could say he was conflicted. Imagine partying all night just before you are due to play in a grand slam final. Naturally, he lost, to journeyman T.Johansson. This side of Safin was engaging. I always recall a long interview he did with Eurosport, who were profiling him just prior to his comeback following a year’s absence through injury. The business of recovering fitness is an arduous one and, as Safin confided to the journo with that delightful little grin: “Nobody likes to work”. This is a chap, you suspect, who pulled the ladies long before money and fame made him a target. And he was candid about the inevitable decay of our human faculties: he spoke of his frustration that his eye was just fractionally slower at picking up the movement of the ball. Not in such a way as you or I or any normal person could possibly notice; only a great sportsman, who is accustomed to detecting the flight of a ball travelling almost faster than the mind can register it.

Safin was full of self-doubt, in a kind of romantic Russian way. How easily he would have fitted into a Dostoyevskian novel. For instance, he remained convinced he did not have the game to succeed on grass, although there is no evidence for this. He pushed Ivanesevic really hard in the year the Croatian won Wimbledon, and he competed equally with Federer for a while in the Wimbledon semi-final – in the twilight of his career.

Janowicz is not like this. He’s incredibly ambitious and apparently immune from self-doubt. He’s quite prepared to work hard to achieve his goals, and without a doubt he aims to reach the very top. He is certainly very talented and compellingly exciting to watch, but he does not possess Safin’s magisterial gifts.

Nativenewyorker Says:

I agree about Marat Safin. I thought he would be the next great player. His talent was off the charts. He looked like a matinee idol, so I can believe that he had the ladies after him.

Safin’s temperament destroyed his career. Also his lack of discipline. It wasn’t his opponents who beat him so many times. He beat himself. It was quite disappointing.

I am not that optimistic yet about Jerzy. I just saw him implode in his first match against Blake, of all people. There are some real problems with this guy. He just kept bashing the ball harder and harder. There has to be some nuance and change of pace in his game. I was surprised at how well Blake played.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think Jerzy looks anything like Safin. He may not be plagued with self-doubt, but he needs to learn to think and adjust out there on the court. This was a wasted opportunity. Throwing his racket and then storming off court, isn’t going to get it done.

M Says:

@grendel –

You remind me of how much I miss him.

We wouldn’t have had the 2008 GMOAT if he hadn’t lost to Roger – that was the year they played the semis – but … I sure do wish he’d beat Ivanesevic.
Or could have had another US Open.


M Says:

“I am not that optimistic yet about Jerzy. I just saw him implode …. There are some real problems with this guy.”

@NNY – You’ve noticed that too, have you?

People try to compare that (lazy brat) Gulbis with Marat too — I just roll my eyes and try to keep it moving.

He was truly one of a kind.

metan Says:

I heard JJ has been enrolled in tempramental class, which I think he is trying hard to improve himself that is a good sign. But Lets see. I have no knowlegde of old players, can’t comment on it.

It is still nice that in every generation we have likely almost the same type of players. Good story for me to tell in 50 years later. Novel!!!

Michael Says:

Roger is passionate about Tennis and that keeps him going. It is good that he is oozing with confidence and mouthing positives. But, now comes the tough part where he needs to walk the talk and that will be exhibited by his results in Cincinnati. I hope Roger finds his lost groove and make amends. He still needs to prove that he is a force to reckon with and what best can be more than bagging Cincinnati where he has already won a record five times.

grendel Says:

M – considering what Safin did to Sampras at the outset of his career, when he won his sole US Open, it is amazing he didn’t win another. Some have suggested that winning the US when he did, not least the manner of his victory, was unfortunate – he wasn’t ready for it, emotionally speaking. I think you are a little harsh, NNY, for injury played a massive role in holding up Safin’s career.

I beg to disagree with you, too, about the Blake match. I really didn’t see an implosion. Blake was quite outstanding, and he deserves credit: he really was just too much for JJ. Not so surprising, at his best Blake has seriously troubled Nadal and Federer and he seems to me to be another of these players who hasn’t quite done justice to himself. Not sure why.

Far from imploding, JJ dug deep and nearly took the 2nd set. “There are some real problems with this guy. He just kept bashing the ball harder and harder. There has to be some nuance and change of pace in his game”. Sorry, I don’t agree with this, either. Blake was the guy bashing the ball hard, and my goodness didn’t he do it exquisitely. JJ seemed to be caught in two minds half the time, he absolutely tried to moderate his pace, not always appropriately in my opinion, and it didn’t work. Blake crushed anything which wasn’t an outright winner, regardless of the pace. The fact is, JJ is still very raw, and Blake handed him a very painful tennis lesson. I very much hope he learns, but it will take time.

Meanwhile, it is true he hurled a racket, nothing wrong with that imo, just letting off steam. I thought his handshake was genuine, but then he did indeed storm off. He’d just been kind of humiliated, you know. As Vice-President and Treasurer of the sore losers’ association, I felt for him….

Polo Says:

Marat will always be revered much more than he has achieved.

Jaysta Says:

I don’t think it is fair to compare Janowicz to Safin…to either of them. Safin, although he ended up being an underachiever, was a supreme ball striker with deft touch and great mobility for a guy his size. He was supposed to dominate after taking out Sampras in that US Open final for the next couple of years. Hence, even Sampras said as much. Sadly, lack of intensity, injury, not taking the sport as seriously as he should may all have been factors in Safin not dominating the lull between Sampras/Agassi and Federer eras.

Jerzy, OTOH, has a great serve, nice touch, and good mobility for a big guy BUT he is not in the same league as Safin. Not even close. Jerzy is still young (only 22 yrs old) and the potential is sky-high for him but he will never get close to the talent that Safin had. Oh, and I just realized I said Jerzy three times in this paragraph because I think it is such an awesome name, lol.

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