Roger Federer Says His Plan All Along Was To Play A Long Time And Not Chase Money
by Tom Gainey | March 16th, 2015, 4:22 pm
  • 65 Comments

Roger Federer revealed yesterday that he knew early on in his career 12 years ago that he wanted to play pro tennis for a very long time, and that would meaning sticking to a consistent schedule and avoiding money grabs.

“Well, the idea was always trying to be around the game for a long time,” Federer said after beating Diego Schwartzmann. “And for that in 2004 when I became world No. 1, I took a decision with my fitness coach, Pierre, at the time that we’re going to plan long term. Whatever we will do, we will plan long term.

“Sure, we can chase money or more tournament victories,” he said. “We can play more frequently, more often, train harder, whatever we will do. But we decided we will try to stay around 20 tournaments during the year, which is a lower number.

“If I play, a want to play good. I want to play injury‑free if possible. But of course all the top guys, we also play hurt. But the goal was to stay around for a long time,” he added. “For me, it was important trying to stay around for as long as possible, because I do love the game. I’m happy that the plan worked, that at 33 I’m still being super competitive and healthy and happy to be on tour.”

Federer is now 33 having turned pro in 2001, and he ranks No. 2. Earlier this year the Swiss crossed over the 1,000 win mark, and proving his health, Federer has never retired from a match in 1,236 matches and counting.

Federer now gets a rematch against his Australian Open ouster, Andreas Seppi.

“I’m happy to play him again,” Federer said. “I was very disappointed with the performance I had in Australia. I know he can play well and can beat me. That’s not the problem. It was the way I was hitting the ball. I wasn’t playing very committed. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to hit my forehand and backhands. It was just a tough match overall and the match slipped away from me.”


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65 Comments for Roger Federer Says His Plan All Along Was To Play A Long Time And Not Chase Money

RZ Says:

Seems like his plan has been working.


Humble Rafa Says:

My plan is the same. I just go about it without drama.


NK Says:

“My plan is the same. I just go about it without drama.”
That’s funny. Rafa and no drama? I cannot think of a single Rafa match or event recently that had no drama, especially if Rafa lost.” No disrespect to Rafa, but I found HR’s comment so disingenuous I was forced to comment. Of the top four, the most drama is generated where Rafa is involved, win or lose.


Tennis Fan Says:

yeah no drama …
“The ball is still not very well,” Nadal said. “Still problem with the same ball. We need to change that, because highest level of tennis deserve highest quality of ball. This ball is not the highest quality.” ha ha


Humble Rafa Says:

Having your wife yell at the opponent while he is serving is a noble gesture, I am sure.


NK Says:

HR is the biggest loser on these boards. This story is about RF honestly talking about his love of tennins, yet this clown finds a ridiculously convoluted reason to say something mean about RF. He proudly calls RF the Arrogant One, yet the most shamelessly arrogant person on these boards is this shamesless clown. I not only find him not funny, I find him pathetically insufferable.


dari Says:

Rog did not turn pro in 2001. You cheated him a few years 1998


Michael Says:

Roger’s love, passion, dedication and overly commitment for the sport is unparalleled. When it comes to maintaining fitness levels, he stands to be the role model for every aspiring youngster and even to his contemporaries in sport who are jealous of him and wonder as to how it is possible for this man to be injury free throughout his career ? It is not possible to constrict or dimunute the reasons for his tremendous fitness levels. There are many and the most important is that he is a naturally gifted player who plays Tennis with consummate ease, agility, flamboyance and with his impeccable movement and footwork on court which is just watching a Mozart in action. His discreet scheduling of tournaments too is an art by itself which he has mastered over the years and that excellent phasing he manages to acquire has kept him in good stead all these years. In a nutshell, Roger is an enigma by himself who has conquered the Tennis World by his versatility, artistry and Mastery in all aspects of the game which has made him a phenomenon of sorts.


Margot Says:

@NK
I agree, but people on here seem to find him inexplicably hilarious. Depends on his target victim I suppose.


Patson Says:

O really Fed?

Somebody should pull a prank on him and wipe out half of his money from his Swiss bank account(s) for a day. His reaction will prove/disprove the truthfulness of this statement.

So, who’s willing to do it ? :)


Giles Says:

Patson. I’m willing to have a go! Lol


Michael Says:

Patson,

You have hit the nail on the head !!

In this highly materialistic World, those who say that they don’t value money are either hypocritical or egregiously lying just for the sake of it. There is no point in further dissecting Roger’s statement to throw further mud. He has earned a fortune through his efforts and he deserves every bit of it. He should not repeat often that money is secondary when infact it is primary and everyone is after it including Roger.


Hippy Chick Says:

I always think the annoying thing in the real world,is when people say money is not an issue,money isnt everything,money doesnt bye you happiness etc???,well A)its not an issue if you aready have it,B)pretty much the same as A,and C)as my late father used to say money doesnt bye you happiness,but at least you can be miserable in comfort,hes a millionaire so he can afford to think like that,but i wonder how Roger would feel if he was struggling like some of us mere mortals?


Hippy Chick Says:

Michael nice post,i find statements like this really irritating,especially as the likes of me dont earn much in our everyday jobs,so the value of money is quite precious….


Markus Says:

To chase money means to set money as the primary goal without regard to anything else. There are no plans involved other than getting that money. Integrity or love for the job you are doing are set aside. There are people who do that: artists, writers, etc. These people also know that if you are truly good with your craft, money will come along. If they get rich along the way, so much the better. Otherwise, if they get enough to live by with some comfort, as long as they can do what they can, they will be happy. That was all what Roger said and he supported his statement by saying he did not run after money by playing as many tournaments as he can or killing himself working out in a gym. He wanted to have longevity, and smart man that he is, he knows that the longer he can stay in the game, the more money he will continue to earn. It simply follows. He had a good plan. Nowhere in that statement did he mention that money is not important. He knows it is important that is why he decided on a route that will make it possible to continue making money as long as he could and at the same time, keep playing the game he loves.


Hippy Chick Says:

You dont need to chase money when you already have it,us mere mortals have to chase it,as we need it more than the rich and famous so to survive,i love my job and i think im good at it, but i have to earn every penny and the pickings are slim,if only it were as cut and dry for the rest of us as it for the celebs….


skeezer Says:

@Markus,
Well said.👍


Ben Pronin Says:

“chase money or more tournament victories”

Translation: accept every small event’s offer of a large appearance fee. Rack up the millions and titles/wins playing every single week. As a top player, especially world number 1, every single tournament is going to be offering an awesome appearance fee. Federer decided to maintain a tight schedule and forgo all of those offers.

Seriously, it’s not that hard to understand.


Hippy Chick Says:

Im not getting at Federer as i would say the same about any other player or famous person,although the lesser players dont earn what the top players do,so therfore have no choice but to play the smaller tournies,and they dont get the appearance fees that the topplayers do,that simply coast on their reputations,theres such a divide even in sport between the elite and the rest….


jane Says:

interesting thought: i wonder what fed would’ve done had he not been the historically successful player he is? is he the kind of player who could’ve plugged along at #68 in the world, happy just to be playing tennis, travelling around week after week? he’s said a number of times that it’s the love of the crowds that keeps him going on some level, but what if he were, say, karlovic? would he still be playing? it’s such an interesting thing to consider – longevity. obviously his extremely comfortable situation allows him to travel with nannies, school teachers, and so on. it probably makes it easier to keep going. i’m not saying it’s about the money, but it is easy to day what he has said in his position, is all.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

i wonder what fed would’ve done had he not been the historically successful player he is?

Basically you are demeaning him for being a successful champion. What would Novak had done?


Patson Says:

When endorsements, prize money, and appearance fees (for a small number of tournaments) can bring you 60 million dollars, it would’ve been foolish to do things to earn 20 million dollars more. The fact is by the time Fed established his brand name, Fed always was going to get X million dollars a year irrespective of what he did. My point ? The point here is that it’s very easy to portray yourself as somebody who could’ve made more money but chose not to when you are already earning X million dollars a year. Had he chosen a route where he would’ve been earning less than a million a year before even he started getting the default millions, then I would applaud him for making the hard choice.Now, it just sounds redundant.

And thanks Ben for explaining what Fed meant. Always glad to know that we’ve got Ben around to explain to us the finer nuances of Fed’s statements.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

People criticizing Roger would be the ones who had never held a racket in their life. They would never know what it takes to be the great champion he is.

In his best years, he never went after endorsements. He never bothered about playing tournaments for appearance fee. Apart from the mandatory tournaments, he spent more time on having proper training blocks to keep improving his tennis. He is a genius not just in tennis, but also in scheduling.


jane Says:

there is no demeaning in my post whatsoever! i am merely saying that i think success can work as a factor in longevity. if a player is struggling more so financially, then he may tire of the slog of travelling and playing on into his 30s. with the added comforts that success brings, i just think that gets easier.

i also think it’s easier to say money is not the goal when you have so much of it that it’s no object in anything you want to do ever!

and sure, all of this same commentary could apply to any of the top players, nole, rafa, or andy. but i was responding to fed’s comment.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

i also think it’s easier to say money is not the goal when you have so much of it that it’s no object in anything you want to do ever!

you are wrong here. if you look at Roger’s comment, he did not decide this after being successful. He clearly mentions he took this call at the early stage of his career. He would not have known if he would be this successful at that point of time.


Markus Says:

Exactly, Nirmal Kumar. When Roger said he
“did not chase the money”, he supported his statement by showing what he did, i.e., played less tournaments, etc., etc. He did what he did before he amassed all his money.

By the way, there is nothing intrinsically wrong in “chasing the money” as long as you don’t do anything illegal or step on other’s people’s toes (only morally not right yet still legal). Nothing in Roger’s statement implied that either. There was nothing offensive in Roger’s statement. It’s only our own biases that make it appear so.


Okiegal Says:

I think it’s about setting more records for his resume…..and he’s making a lot of money along the way doing it plus he’s doing something he loves and is in great health doing it, so many aren’t. What the heck is wrong with that??


Markus Says:

May I say it again? Exactly, Okiegal!


Okiegal Says:

@Markus…..I guess I did echo you…..short term memory in 30 minutes?? That would be me! Lol Did you say anything about the resume?? I did add that little extra tidbit!! :) Wow, that resume! :(


jane Says:

personally i don’t think there is anything “offensive” in his statement either. he stated that when he turned number 1 in 2004 he and his trainer made scheduling decisions to ensure that he preserve his longevity in the game.

all i was personally speculating on is what it might be like for players who haven’t been as financially successful – even as roger was in 2004, when he reached number 1 and won 3 slams, and made this decision to cut back.

it might be more difficult for other players not to chase money and to cut back their schedules, while they stick around playing into their 30s – even though they’ve never won even 1 slam and never even cracked the top 20 in some cases.

but many of them do it, nonetheless, as a job, i guess, but also probably for the love of the game and lifestyle too.


Markus Says:

No, Okiegal, you did not echo what I said. You put an exclamation mark to it. It made me quite pleased. Thank you.


Markus Says:

Okiegal, when I said, “May I say it again?”, I was referring to the word “exactly” which I used in response to Nirmal Kumal’s post. You are too nice (my opinion, in case anybody complains) for me to be rude to. But you did not sound offended so all’s well.


Matador Says:

Ask Laver, Rosewall, all the australian gang, how was in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the “real amateur”, the guys who made popular this sport.


sienna Says:

2001 ?


Okiegal Says:

Markus…..OK, I get it. I read everything over again and see where you’re coming from. I tend to read something and forget the gist later. I was not the least bit offended. I’m tickled pink I got a response! It’s a lonely tennis world for me, everyone I know hates it! That’s why I come to this forum to chat with folks who love it as much as I do! Thanx for the feedback and the sweet complement, I try to be a pleasant poster! Once in awhile I get my feathers ruffled when there are snarky remarks about my fav….but all fan bases do that.


sienna Says:

I quess the money really doesnot come from winning tournaments.

Maybe we should realise the money the three teams make (team fed, team Rafa and team djoko) holds only 5 – 10% price money.

but sponsors will disappear fast when winning stops for djokovic, retirement kicks in for Nadal and Fed becomes an hermit.


Okiegal Says:

Fed wants to be #1 again, me thinks! He might just do it. Novak is riding high atm but he could sustain an injury in the blink of an eye…..then what?? An occupation playing sports can crumble at any time. I hope all the players can remain healthy. I saw where Nick the “kid” is out for 2 to 4 weeks. He’s starting out with setbacks at a young age. I believe he exerts lots of undue energy on court….he’s asking for it, imo.


Hippy Chick Says:

There was nothing in my post that was disrespectfull either,the point is when you are or have been as sucessfull as these elite players especially to the extent of Roger,you have nothing to lose,and can coast on your reputation,the lesser players dont earn the money that the elite do,so cannot afford to be as choosy about the tournies or the schedule they play,Jane explains it better in both of her posts,what im trying to say seems to get lost in translation….


madmax Says:

You go Fed! Just get out there and play the tennis that attracts the world wide fans, the sponsors, more fans, more sponsors, you do that and keep the haters hating.

No athlete on this planet could ever know how successful they “could” become – could not have happened to a nicer guy. Honest and very worthy to be where he is.

Love Federer.


madmax Says:

Dari!

Bang on!

It’s rafa who turned pro in 2001!, 3 years after Roger!


KatH Says:

To decide on longevity when aged 23 is worthy of a seer.


Hippy Chick Says:

KatH whats a seer?….


KatH Says:

A very wise person – like all of us (ha ha).


KatH Says:

A visionary.


Okiegal Says:

@Chick 4:23

Jamie! :)


Ben Pronin Says:

I wonder how many of you guys follow the NFL or NBA. There’s a double standard in those sports where if a great athlete goes to a crappier team to get paid the most, he’s greedy. But if he takes a pay cut to play for a contending team, he’s a ring chaser. Either way the athlete can’t win.

Sounds like the same thing here. If Federer had played 30 tournaments a year when he was number 1 and accepting appearance fees, he would’ve been criticized for being greedy. But saying that he didn’t care about the appearance fees and wanted to play longer is apparently a no-no too because it’s easy for him to say that because he’s already rich? Jeez, there’s just no winning.

Jane, it’s all about mileage, right? Had Federer been less successful, ie losing earlier at tournaments, then he’d probably enter more events. Look at guys like Ferrer, Seppi, Haas, and other 30+ guys who obviously weren’t as successful as him, tend to play more small events, but are still playing some of their personal best tennis.

At the same time, I think Federer would’ve retired by now if he wasn’t as popular as he is. He does talk about how playing in front of the crowds keeps him going. I think if he had been or maybe one day when he is regulated to the outside courts, he’ll hang it up.


brando Says:

What is there to question here? No one can doubt Fed’s ambition as a player since day 1 on tour. He knew the talent he has and worked hard to make the most of it. Now of course if he did not succeed, like any fellow his goals, career management changes accordingly. At the end of the day: they all are also trying to make a living from the sport. It would be erroneous of them as individuals not to consider the financial element-both present and future- for themselves whilst on tour. And that’s dictated by your results, where Fed is one of the lucky few to enjoy immense success. Because of that he’s a iconic name. And due to that: the money chases the likes of Federer, Nadal since the big companies are readily willing to have them as ambassadors, brand endorsers due to their stature. That financial security, the ability to generate millions of the court completely frees them up from pursuing the money on the tour compared to those who do not have that off court brand value. This though-make no mistake about it- only exists because the likes of Fed, rafa are who they are on the court. You could pretty much have a set rule: (insert name) as the genius of their sport= major endorsement deals of it.


skeezer Says:

jane,
just for the record, your posts seem fine to me, didn’t get the demeaning accusation thingy. Ben nailed it again, and yes I follow most all the american sports.


Sidney Says:

Agree with Hippy, Patron, etc. This type of statement from someone ‘loaded’ with it is hypocritical at this point in his career. Arrogance would apply also.

A lesson for both Rafa and Novak, my top two faces.


Sidney Says:

Faves, not faces.


jane Says:

thanks skeezer; and ben, yes, the mileage thing makes sense.


Markus Says:

Arrogance is when one calls somebody’s statement as hypocritical on the basis of the speaker’s status without regard to the nature, veracity and reasoning behind the statement.


Sidney Says:

Ears of the beholden.

Don’t say anything that sounds hypocritical as to make yourself look so good and wise, as if EVERYTHING happened as you planned it. This smacks of arrogance to me.


autoFilter Says:

I wouldn’t find anything hypocritical about this even if the attitude had arisen only out of an established position of wealth. It’s easy to imagine that those with so much should find it easy to turn down more, but how often is that really reflected in reality? Of the people I’ve known that are extremely wealthy, most are nearly always preoccupied with increasing their wealth, and I don’t think I’ve met any that don’t jump on virtually every sound opportunity that comes their way.

Added to which, temptations and pressures (and expectations) tend to grow in proportion to means. There are undoubtedly always people looking for a helping hand or to encourage you to invest in their something or the other if you seemingly have money “to spare.”

I am by no means saying it’s particularly noble simply to not try to be as rich as you can when you’re already relatively loaded, but I don’t think it’s necessarily so easy a task for most people who do come into that kind of wealth. An appalling number of NFL players seem to end up broke, for example, even though they are paid ludicrously well.

Anyway, it sounds to me like he was just talking about the weight he put on prioritizing his schedule rather than making a claim that he doesn’t care about money.


jane Says:

^ yeah, i took it to be more about longevity than anything and that’s why to me an interesting angle to consider is how wealth and success might factor into longevity in the game, in some cases, though certainly not all.


Sidney Says:

autoFilter, agree with everything except the hypocritical part.

I am not discounting the possibility that Roger may have been misquoted, or his comments taken out of context.

I just wish Roger did not mention the money thing. It really sounded weird and off putting.

How about Roger sharing his money to lower ranked players, so they can afford to skip some events and stop chasing money. Maybe then they’ll win more matches and get higher appearance fees? Maybe Roger is already doing this undercover?


skeezer Says:

Sidney,
Give it a rest.

http://newyork.tennistonic.com/view_tennisnews?nid=1417&/Federer-to-fight-for-lower-ranked-players

http://www.thestar.com.my/story/?file=%2f2012%2f11%2f9%2fsports%2f20121109080125&sec=sports

And where do you see your fav helpin?
Oh, thats right. resigning from his post. And complaining about balls. Who’s really arrogant?
Yep. Hypo.


Sidney Says:

Skeezer,
Fine. I won’t say anything about this topic anymore. But only because I respect you as a fed fan, and I think your posts have been generally fair (in my opinion).


skeezer Says:

Sidney,
Don’t resign so easily! Give me some fight! Lol…j/k.
All good. Enjoy IW.
Btw, me thinks Fed could be a litlle more humble at times, but my guess is this is where he draws from, his belief in himself.


Michael Says:

Roger made a statement and perceptions & interpretations might vary and I appreciate the comments of everyone which make sense.

Alison – Thanks to you too !!

The amateur era is behind us. This is the professional era where money is everything and in the US Open 2009, you had commercials spoiling Del Potro’s epochal moment when he managed to attain the tower of glory and still was forced to cut short his speech for the sake of TV Commercials. That is how scary the dominance of money is in this World.


jane Says:

^ that was sad michael; i remember that delpo had to rush. : /


Michael Says:

Yes Jane. It was indeed a pathetic sight to watch Del Potro robbed of his golden moments just for satiating the thrist for more commercials. It was really disgusting to see that happen.


Ronn Says:

Too bad Federer’s long-term goal didn’t include finding a way to keep from getting his butt kicked by Nadal all the time. What a shame…


autoFilter Says:

jane,

“it might be more difficult for other players not to chase money and to cut back their schedules, while they stick around playing into their 30s”

I think what you’ve said here is simply indisputable. Undoubtedly, it is not an option for players to cut back on their schedules if it means they’ll not be able to afford to pay their travel fees, coaches, etc. However, it is balanced (to only a certain degree and only for seeded players) by the fact that this would mean they are not regularly playing the highest rounds and therefore are not putting as much match mileage on their bodies. Even with Roger we’ve seen him go out earlier than expected and then quickly add another tournament to his schedule. That’s likely due to many factors such as getting enough practice and maintaining ranking as well as allowance for not overplaying, but the latter figures, no doubt.

Sidney,

I’m just going by this article as far as my impression of this particular statement, and the quote I see about money is:

“Sure, we can chase money or more tournament victories,” he said. “We can play more frequently, more often, train harder, whatever we will do. But we decided we will try to stay around 20 tournaments during the year, which is a lower number.”

I don’t take out of this that he’s criticizing anyone who does otherwise. And I know that one of the items he’s pushed on the players’ council is for greater prize money in earlier rounds specifically because it is so disproportionately tough for the lower ranked players to make ends meet.

So, yeah, I don’t see it as hypocritical. And, anyway, my personal opinion is that he should be able to talk about his rationale if he feels like it, whether or not he was asked (though I’m guessing he was). I mean, of course the context he’s coming from is going to be quite different from very nearly everyone in the world, but that’s the life he’s built from the opportunities he’s had. All I can really say is, “Well, it must be nice.” Like, really, I’d love to cut down on my work schedule for the sake of longevity, but my life’s not like that. I certainly would not be thrilled to have someone in a more “privileged” position condescendingly and unrealistically advising me to do so, but I’m not getting that out of what I’ve read here — that’s all.

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