In an interview last week with sponsor Credit Suisse, Roger Federer talked about the disappointing season that was and what the future holds in 2014.
Commenting on his injury-addled past year, Federer summed it up saying, “It was a very difficult year. It may have begun well with the semi-final in Australia, and it ended well. But it would be better to forget the months from March to October.
“Sometimes, I could hardly move properly, and yet was sharply criticized by some people,” he added pointing out that such criticism was “unjustified.”
Federer again admits that his back hindered his summer campaign, but he was very pleased and encouraged with his finish to 2013 even though he wasn’t able to pick up any additional titles.
“I was able to concentrate again fully on my tennis and on tactics for three weeks, and my body didn’t give me any problems,” Federer said. “In the preceding months, that had been different. That is a big step, and makes me want more. My self-confidence has also returned. By the end, everyone around me was talking positively again, the mood was much better than in the summer. That boosts my morale for the coming year, and it’s a big relief. The fun has definitely returned.”
After a brief vacation, Federer says he’s foregone the “show tournaments” to focus on his training in Dubai.
“I’m concentrating fully on my training,” he said. “For once I won’t be participating in any show tournaments, in contrast with 2012 when I went to South America. What is important is that I can train hard in Dubai in December without any setbacks. I think that it will take until April for me to catch up completely with my training. For once, I’ll be opening the new season at the ATP tournament in Brisbane, after which it’s the Australian Open.”
Federer also agreed with Novak Djokovic’s assessment that he’s no longer as quick on his feet as he once was.
“What he says is true,” Federer said. “I don’t feel that I am as fast as in my best years. But despite that I can still compete with the best. That makes me feel positive. For months, I played while being afraid of back pains and got into bad habits in the process. On court, I was orientating myself to the back rather than to the front, I lost my usual aggressiveness. And somehow I became a different player. Now I need time to get all of that out of my system again.”
The 32-year-old is still not sure if he’ll play Davis Cup in 2014 and he hasn’t decided if he’ll hire a coach to replace Paul Annacone. He also hinted that he’ll continue to tinker with racquet adjustments.
Federer opens his 2014 season later this month in Brisbane. He aims to win five titles and maintain a good ranking.
“I would like to win about five tournaments again and play in great finals, that’s where I have most fun. My ranking is less important to me, unless it’s about being number one. But it would be good to be in the top four or top eight, to get good seedings.
“I can see no reason why I shouldn’t play better again in 2014, and have some great wins. I have still got some major goals, because I certainly haven’t forgotten how to play tennis.”
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