Roger Federer: I Prefer Playing Exos To Training!
by Tom Gainey | January 9th, 2015, 10:23 am
  • 57 Comments

Roger Federer admitted yesterday that he’d rather play exhibition matches and events – like the IPTL – than be stuck in the solitude of training.

“I think the XOs in India and at home for the foundation against Stan in Switzerland was good for me because it reminded me where my game is at,” Federer said Thursday in Brisbane. “It’s nice to play some competitive matches in a situation where you have an umpire and linesmen and spectators.

“I clearly prefer that over training. Training you’re alone on the court. It’s good fun sometimes, but for too long of a period of times sometimes it gets a bit boring and can’t wait to get back on the tour.

“I think that’s also one of the reasons the players like to play XOs. It’s not to chase money, it’s because it’s an opportunity to play in a different, relaxed environment for a purpose and for maybe a city, a country.”

Federer advanced to the semifinals in Brisbane after a quick 41-minute 60, 61 win over James Duckworth. He’ll play Grigor Dimitrov next.

“I’m very happy,” said Federer who lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the final last year. “I saved energy and stress and nerves and everything, because yesterday was quite nerve wracking and physically difficult because it was first match of the season. You’re always going to be a bit tense in that match.”

Federer added that he’s feeling better than he did a year ago at the start of the year.

“This year I’ve had a good off‑season,” he said. “Not that many doubts flying around like last year. Not that many questions with the racquet. It’s been working very well with me. I had great statistics on my own serve, and on the return I just got to take my chances and play with purpose.”

Federer is just two wins from reaching 1,000.


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57 Comments for Roger Federer: I Prefer Playing Exos To Training!

Giles Says:

LMAO at Fed’s comment. Of course he prefers Exos. One good reason $$$$$$$€€€€€€€£££££££.


Daniel Says:

Yeah Giles, as if he is not the richest tennis player ever, LMAO


elina Says:

Now that Roger has officially endorsed exhos, perhaps we shall see less criticism and judgement of players for participating.


Giles Says:

Fed reminds me of Oliver Twist : “Please sir, I want some more” with only one change, fed drops the “Please sir”


RZ Says:

The criticism against players playing exos is that many of them complain that the off-season isn’t long enough but then play the exos. (I don’t think that Fed has been one of those vocal complainers, though.) I still think it’s valid to criticize those who make that complaint but then spend their off-season chasing money for poor-decision making. Take Tsonga. He was injured before Davis Cup, and then reinjured himself during Davis Cup. But then he played ITPL and now is not playing the Australian Open as a result. I think there’s some criticism due there.


Okiegal Says:

But aren’t the exos supposed to be relaxed and more for fun?? Throw in a lot of moolah and boom baby you’ve got the perfect storm! To me, there is a lot of difference in playing in a Masters series tournament and playing for grins……there would be no comparison at all…….getting hurt in the exo would take the fun out of it……..no grins then!!


elina Says:

RZ, Tsonga has never complained about the long season, nor had any of the players that participated in IPTL this year.

Tsonga made a financially wise decision getting paid $1M for a handful of sets over a few weeks which is as much or more than he’s made on the tour for most of his years as a professional.

He probably wouldn’t have played Australia regardless and likely would have won far less for more effort had he played.

As Fed points out, IPTL and exhos are no more effort than practise so why not have the immediate motivation that comes with the competition.

Not the same as playing the tour day in and day out with so much more time on court at higher intensity.

The players know this but the journos like to write their stories. Much ado about nothing.


elina Says:

Ooops! I meant to say as much or more than he’s made on the tour over a full single year for most of his years as a professional.


Humble Rafa Says:

What a joke. Most money minded player in the history of the sport says money doesn’t matter.


RZ Says:

@Elina – you’re right that Tsonga hasn’t complained much, and I can’t fault anyone for going for big bucks. But long term stability at/near the top of the game is what would lead to more endorsements and higher pay at exos. I think Tsonga messed up by playing IPTL, and he has said that he shouldn’t have played. Hopefully he will recover soon.


Wog Boy Says:

This is strange, I am pretty sure (I might be wrong) that earlier this year Roger said that he plays well because he did hard work in the off season instead playing exos, like he did year before, having a light dig at Rafa and Nole for playing exos in SA.


Thangs Says:

Wog Boy, you are right. He said at the end of 2013 bad reason he prfers to train hard instead of playing exhos (Nole and Rafa had very good year and were playing exhos)


Thangs Says:

bad season*


DC Says:

Humble Rafa Says:
What a joke. Most money minded player in the history of the sport says money doesn’t matter.
———————————————
less money minded than other sportsmen who will break & torture their body in order want to win to earn more money.


elina Says:

Sorry RZ but I think at this point in his career, Tsonga just might have realized that the “long term stability at/near the top of the game” ship for him has for all intents and purposes sailed.

By playing IPTL, he added a cool million to his $14M career earnings and that is nothing to sneeze at.


Okiegal Says:

@Wog boy 5:05……..You’re exactly right…..I won’t research the article this time, someone else can do that……I stirred up a stink, unintentionally……so I’ll pass that job on to someone else……but Federer did make that comment. On second thought, if I get too bored tonight I might just try to find it……lol


Wog Boy Says:

Okie, I am glad you are posting, if I can use the word (that I don’t like) “colateral”, that is what happened last time, your intention was good but you ended up as colateral damage, that is all I would lika to say about last time, I will leave that behind us.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ collateral


Okiegal Says:

@Wog boy…….I’ve been called a lot of things but never collateral damage?? LOL Putting it behind us……yeah, I’m for that.


Yolita Says:

I remember Roger criticising exhos and praising hard work in practice when Rafa and Nole were doing exhos. The obedient media ran with that.
Now that Roger is doing exhos, the opinion is the opposite, and the obedient media will run with that as well. :-)


skeezer Says:

@Yolita,
You have a link to Feds critisisms you are talking about? Or/and how it was a “dig” at Rafa and or Nole? Anyone? Thanks.
-


I Love Tennis Says:

Why so sensitive in whatever player/s said. Tennis is much much more interesting….


Michael Says:

Federer has advanced his own set of reasons to justify his preference. He is entitled to his view and only wish he can add just one more advantage. Training costs you money while Exhibitions earns you money.


Okiegal Says:

Just saw on my FB account Fed is just 3 games away from 999 wins after winning in Brisbane! That’s quite a fete…..when he does have a thousand wins I bet there will be lots of festivities in his honor.


skeezer Says:

Fed into another Finals in his illustruos career. 2 and 2 over Grigor @ Brisbane! Vamos Maestro!


Okiegal Says:

I have to recant the above post…..Fed hasn’t won yet…..sorry….I counted my chickens before they hatched……I’m going to check live scores now and see how he’s doing…..I apologize for this error.


Okiegal Says:

Well, he did win…..My reporting was on target after all.


jane Says:

so it’s a fed/milos final? to be honest, i really expected kei to meet fed in the finals. i am surprised he lost but it looks like it was a cracker – really close! did anyone see that match? i thought fed would beat grigor but that scoreline is surprising.


sienna Says:

Xo seem to be the way to get into the right mindset.
I always critisized Fed for Xo’s

especially the ones against Sampras were horribly timed and looked as if the mono was indirectly a result frommelen them.

Federer now somewhat trying to make good for xo is aan little twofaced.
Training is not done in xo format.
you train with coaching and a team Who can give advice on what you do wrong.
So not sure what he means.

meanwhile his form and fitness have taken no damage from xo. So they have given it some thought in getting ready for AU OPEN.

He demorilised the next gen capitan
lets see if Raonic can walk the walk.


Wog Boy Says:

jane, I saw both matches, first one was really good match and Milos deserved to win, he hold his nerve in important points, his ground strokes were really good but he has to do something with his return game, he could finish match earlier if he didn’t net or overplayed quite a few Nishikori’s serves that were not so hard to win.
As for Roger/Grigor match..I don’t want to rain on Fedfans parade, but I can tell you one thing, Grigor is going backwards.


Mr. Larvey Says:

I have to agree with Wog Boy on Federer’s match. Yes, Fed palyed a solid match but with this kind of display, Grigor won’t be in top 10 at the end of the season. To be honest, I think that Grigor hasn’t improved at all since last spring which is a bit concerning for him.


jane Says:

thanks for the feedback wog boy. i wonder if grigor needs a new coach?


brando Says:

Props to Fed but the comments on grigors performance here and elsewhere just add to my belief that all that hype about him is for nothing. It seems that the media, atp are desperate for him to take over (good looking, friendly guy, Federer like game= perfect future salesman of the tour) but he’s clearly not got it together at all.he still crumbles v the big names, his game still has certain issues and more than anything else his mental frailty is galling. Had he been in kei’s v Novak in USO or kyrgios v Rafael at Wimbledon I would fully expect rafole to win since put simply: this guy hasn’t got the guts to seal the deal. He’s been on the tour for a real while now so that he’s still developing argument is old. It’s now or never if he’s to dominate. He’s best chance will be once the top 4 are either done or close to end: then his youth will see him win but even then there is no guarantee he’ll beat the rest.overhyped player methinks.


Margot Says:

Dunno what the heck’s the matter with Dimi but I do wish Racheed hadn’t blagged him up in that stupid way. Being blagged up as “Baby Fed” and then Racheed’s hyperbole. Enough already.Perhaps he feels a sense of entitlement, 4getting it’s 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.


Michael Says:

What can one say about Roger ? Simply phenomenal. Every time, he swings his racquet on court, he inevitably creates records and set new parameters for greatness. See the irony of it, a rising star on the horizon loses 2 and 2 to a veteran nearing 34. It shows the greatness of Roger as well as the inadequacy of Dmitrov to live up to expectations.


brando Says:

@michael: . “It shows the greatness of Roger as well as the inadequacy of Dmitrov to live up to expectations.”: excellent way to sum it all up in a sentence. The original-fed- just shows his greatness, and the imitation-grigor- showing how he’s nowhere near the mark. Grigor turns 24 in May- the same month as Novak. At this age 23, going 24 Novak had his 2011 season. By age 24 Federer was no.1, 5 grand slams in the bank. Nadal at age 24 was number 1, 6 grand slams in the bank. Just a brief bit of information but enough to show the colossal difference grigor and the ones the media portrays him as the heir apparent to. Grigor may claim he’s young, but at his age fedal, Novak were very old in the habit of winning slams, big titles. Put simply: he’s nowhere near them and with every passing day he looks more of a berdych, nalbandian, monfils type player: great talent, weak mentality and one for the highlight reels not grand slam wins.


Tennis Fan Says:

This will be Milos break through year. This guy has the weapons … but mostly the determination to break into the top 3. We’ll see … but I’m betting on big things this year for the big man.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Agree with all above. As I said in the Nishikori/ Agassi thread, the generation is a dud.
I don’t root against them, on the contrary, I always hope for a breakthrough from any of the Young(ish) Three.
But its very clear none are destined for Greatness, though Kei may win a Slam or two before another generation comes along.

What’s really blowing me away is that we’re entering the first slam of 2015 and Federer at 34 will be far and away the second favourite. This is quite outrageous. Two years ago he seemed lightyears away from this. Even a year ago. Man, I remember being so roundly mocked for suggesting Fed had a shot before Wimbledon 2014. He is in a better position at 34 than he was at 33 and 32.
Selfish old bugger!


Giles Says:

Milos is rubbish as I have said before!


brando Says:

@TV: great post and I agree in the main but ‘re Federer: first and foremost to Federer it’s only nothing but credit to him for it. I feel IF he garners any applause for this it’s warranted. But the tour: this kind of statistic just underlines how bad it is as the the moment. We have a world number 1 who as talented as he is, he most certainly is not the imposing number 1 we have ever seen. Rather his grand slam performance in recent years suggest he’s a vulnerable one. Yet- correctly too- he’s considered the clear and absolute AO favourite despite his issues. That’s telling about the tour. And when you consider his clearest, undisputed rival there is a 33 year old who many feel really has little chance of troubling Novak, his best days are long gone, has won only 1/19 recent grand slams then to me that indicates the absolutely woeful state of the tour at the moment. And when you consider how lacking the next in line are-dimitrov, raonic etc- than I am sorry but I do not apologize for chuckling when I hear calls of how this is a golden age. It’s not. When refrain from engaging in hyperbole is exercised, desire to prop our favourite is not succumbed to and we show a strong will to assess matters honestly then there can only be one conclusion: the tour in 2015-at this moment- is nowhere near as strong, great as the hype claims it to be.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Brando, I agree. I am not on your side in the assessment you give of Novak’s “weakness” in Slams (please, let’s not run away into that topic again), but I have also come to the idea that this is no golden age.
We seemed on the verge of it in 2012, when Rafa had come back so strongly from his 2011 losses, we were still basking in the glow of Novak’s 2011, Fed re-emerged at Wimbledon and then Murray stepped up. At that point, it really did seem like we were going to get a few years of Novak/Murray/Rafa titanic struggles, with the Grand Old Man still occasionally biting.
But Rafa has become a part time player, Murray’s comeback from back surgery has still not brought him back where he was and– as much as I love Fed’s game at the moment, I’d be crazy to compare it to Peak Fed.
So, its not a Golden Age in the sense we expected, of multiple great champions at their peaks, as we had with Lendl, Becker, Edberg, and before that with Connors, Borg and Macenroe.

But after years of Fed/Rafa stranglehold, followed by Rafa/Novak stranglehold, there is definitely more room for the “outsiders” in the game now than there has been for most of the last ten years. Which makes it a very enjoyable time to watch tennis, if not a Golden Age.


skeezer Says:

@TV
Great description of the mens game today and yesteryears.


Michael Says:

Brando @ 9.04 am,

Thanks!!

I remember another player named Bernard Tomic who was forwarded as sensation by the over ambitious Media and projected as a rising prospect, but has silently fades away. Kriygois is another who is not making any waves after he shockingly took down Rafa at Wimbledon.

Players like Dmitrov, Raonic etc., do not appear to be grand slam material. 0ne of them might win the occasional grand slam, but more than that you cannot expect them dominating the tour at any point of time in their career. It appears frightening as after Roger, Rafa, Novak and Andy, the field looks pretty pedestrian which is certainly not good for the future of the sport.


brando Says:

@TV: great post. Re Novak: don’t worry that’s done with. I’ve had my say on it, and feel comfortable with where I left it. Nothing to add to that one. Re the era’s: agree pretty much. You had fedal for years, then rafole for 2011-2013 and then there was last year. Present going forward: I agree with you that there is an exciting element in terms of the possibility of surprises. But I do not particularly find it exciting since really it’s not one era being supplanted by another due it’s own brilliance: but rather great players ageing with quite lacking intermediary generation punching at glory here or there with no real sustainable level of play. Nor are the new champions consistent in playing at a high level. But in totality: I completely agree the golden age talk in 2015 is purely BS.


brando Says:

Here’s a thought: are fedal, Novak and Andy enjoying a extended period at the top less because of their own brilliance but more due to the ineptness of those who ought be replacing them at the top? Could be a true statement when the no.2 is 33, a injury prone player swans in and out injured but always carrying a threat, the no.1 has his vulnerability but still is a clear top dog since: who else then? The youngest of those 4 shall be 28 this year: history tells us players start to slip/dip in some manner from that age. Yet: even though presently the top 4 names all have their own issues, when compared to the younger plays: they ooze strength. That’s great for them: dismal for us if we want the competition to ‘ve of a high level.


brando Says:

Congratulations are also in order for the 32 year old David ferrer (33 in April) who has just won another career title v a top 8 player in the final as opposition. Anually gets written off to fall off the map, Yet he complains not, offers no rebuttal by the ways of words, just works hard, fights and still triumphs year after year since his guts, passion nevers folds as easily as those who are supposed to be better than him. Supposed to be is the key there: since ferru shows by results they are not. Well done david: it’s one of the tours greatest sights seeing a individual like you raise his arms with a gentle smile after another match won by sheer desire to win.


contemperory Says:

Federer’s resurgence combined with the performances of players like Ferrer, Robredo etc bring up an interesting trend. 30′s is no longer a retirement or sunset time for players if they stay away from injuries. Djokovic and Nadal may still be dominant when they are 32 or 33. And that means Nadal might be able to reach the 18+ slam mark and Djokovic reaching the 15+ mark.

This is further strengthened by the fact that the young players are not able to turn themselves into another Djokovic/Fed/Nadal. No player in the current young generation is as good as these three greats.


Mr. Larvey Says:

Congrats to Ferrer!

I’m also very delighted to see Stan the Man in the Chennai finals also this year. Stan plays against qualifier Bedene.


jane Says:

interesting points from everyone about age, eras, and competition.
i wonder though: does anyone think that the new professionalism, training, treatments and technology also play a key role in the fact that players are doing well for longer in their careers, and playing into their 30s in top positions? after all, it’s not just a trend set by the ageing big 4. a number of players are playing longer – for example ferrer, 32, karlovic, 34, and many others. or is that a non-factor in this particular discussion perhaps?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Brando, in answer to your question, the answer is: Yes.

I’ll follow it up with this: is this the longest period in ATP history since the emergence of a superstar? If we call Andy Murray the last superstar to emerge, and he has been near the top since 2008, that makes 7 years! Has there ever been such a drought?
If Cilic or Nishikori establish themselves as superstars this year, I will revise my count to 6 years, but I doubt I’ll be needing to.

Seven freaking years since the last great player emerged. Ridiculous.


jane Says:

contemperory, i see you’ve raised similar points, although from a less specific place maybe. i guess i am curious about what contributes to this trend and how it plays into the new generation not breaking through. i think we can still say that we’ve seen some pretty great players in the last decade, whether you’d call it a golden age or not.


Tennis Fan Says:

So we are all in agreement then … the new generation of players will not be arrriving for sometime and the “old guys” having hit their peak playing ages are going to hang on and dominate for another 5 years.

You know what happens when the consensus is all the same don’t you … ? again my prediction … you will habe at least one if not two or more top three ranked players by the end of this season. Bookmark this entry so you can refer back to it later.

… and Happy New Year!


Tennis Fan Says:

… make that at least one if not two or more NEW top three by the end of 2015 …


TennisVagabond.com Says:

TF, love it. If we all agree, we must be wrong. I look forward to events making us look foolish.


Margot Says:

@jane
I’m sure improvements in medical treatments/body recovery/training must be contributing to the longevity of players.
Taking Andy as an eg 20 years ago such an operation on his back would surely have ended his career?
However, without checking weren’t quite a few players in the past playing top tennis well beyond 30? Agassi springs to mind but must’ve been others.
Thinking of doubles players now, Nestor is 40 and still in top eschelons of the tour. Did that happen in the past?


jane Says:

i think of connors too margot, so yeah, there’s definitely been people who’ve lasted long, in terms of tennis years, before.


Michael Says:

Congrats to Ferrer. He always grabs the opportunity when it is handed out to him in the form of exit of Novak and Rafa. Give it to this man who is near to Roger’s age but is still a force in Tennis. His game may not look attractive but is quite effective in these days of slog out from the back where the game has lost it’s variety.

Top story: Federer Back On Course At ATP Finals; Anderson Cruising