Roger Federer: What’s Important is to Get Thru the Early Rounds in Montreal [Video]
by Tom Gainey | August 7th, 2011, 9:10 pm

Here’s a brief soundbite from Roger Federer’s press conference today at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

Federer is a two-time champion at the Canadian Open where he won in 2004 and 2006 (both in Toronto). Last year in Toronto Federer lost to Andy Murray in the final. In his last appearance in Montreal Federer he choked the match away to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2009.

In his first match Federer will play the winner of Juan Ignacio Chela and Candian Vasik Pospisil. The former No. 1 hasn’t won a tour title since Doha at the start of the season.

Federer will celebrate his 30th birthday tomorrow (Monday, August 8).

“Well, it’s not going to affect anything really,” Federer said last week about his birthday. “Honestly, very often, I did come to Canada, it was my birthday. Canadians always make a big deal about my birthday. It’s not going to be very different this time around. This time it’s even a bigger one sort of because it’s a round number. But I always like enjoying my birthday I don’t want to say in public, but at a tournament maybe around that time. So for me it’s not something completely different or new. I’m looking forward to turning 30.”

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12 Comments for Roger Federer: What’s Important is to Get Thru the Early Rounds in Montreal [Video]

Brando Says:

Happy birthday fed!!! I’m sure you’ll have a good hardcourt season, just please beat djokovic. You are you friend rafa’s best hope in that regard :-)

jane Says:

Well, Fed, your 20s are behind you but “30 Rocks” :)

Humble Rafa Says:

I would prefer nothing but Roger in the tennis-x trunk. Peace.

madmax Says:

Great comment Humble Rafa

This is for you.

Happy Birthday Roger. Good Luck in Montreal.

Kimmi Says:

happy birthday roger.the big 30..

Patty Says:

Happy Birthday to the Magnificent Fed!!!

Good Luck in Montreal!!!!!

dari Says:

Happy Birthday to the Maestro!
Wishing happiness and health to the man who changed the way I look at tennis.
Happy 30th Birthday to Magic Man Roger Federer!!!!!!

Kimberly Says:

Happy Birthday Roger

tina tiou Says:


Maureen Says:

Happy 30th birthday Roger. Enjoy the day with your wife and twins. I hope to see you playing tennis for many more years.

madmax Says:

I haven’t ever seen a sports psychologist’s view of Federer’s fitness, concentration levels or general comments about where his game is at, which is why I found this so interesting. (It’s under the sub heading ‘Family Distractions’.

Come on Roge! You know we look forward to watching you play tomorrow. Happy birthday and all the very best.

But being a professional tennis player is gruelling – physically and mentally. Swedish legend Björn Borg burnt out and retired at the age of 26. Swiss former world number one Martina Hingis, who herself turned 30 last September, retired (for the first time) aged 22 with ankle problems and then again aged 27 after testing positive for cocaine.

One of the secrets of Federer’s success is his fitness. A large part of the credit here has to go to Pierre Paganini, who has toned Federer’s muscles and legs for more than ten years.

“Tennis is not a sport that makes you old at 30,” Paganini told “On the contrary, it helps those who are more mature. At that age, details make the difference.”

But when Federer was beaten by Djokovic in the semifinal of the Australian Open in January, it was the first time the Swiss wasn’t holder of one of tennis’s four major titles since 2003.

Many commentators believe this is the beginning of the end for Federer and that he’ll struggle to add to his collection. Paganini, however, dismisses the “theory of decline”.

“I don’ t understand how people can write such things. Between 28 and 30, it’s impossible to progress at the same rhythm as when you were 22 or 25,” he said.

“Put simply, others are progressing too and that is the charm of this sport. I have enormous respect for Djokovic and Nadal but even more for Federer because his longevity is incredible. He is very near them and always has a chance to beat them.”

Family distractions?

So is the 30-year-old Federer a step behind the 25-year-old Federer? Are his reactions slower?

Roland Carlstedt, a clinical psychologist and chairman of the American Board of Sport Psychology, says that because sports associations don’t measure athletes’ physical performances over their careers, any attempt to answer questions like this is nothing but speculation.

Nevertheless, he highlights certain signs that in his view are small but can be decisive.

“I suspect Federer’s iron concentration isn’t quite what it was,” Carlstedt told “That could be connected to his new family life – one is faced with chores and responsibilities that previously simply didn’t exist.”

One’s powers of concentration might only be affected minimally, he added, “but against Djokovic or Nadal, being even a millisecond slower can be decisive”.

“Federer is still superlative, but he shouldn’t be stubborn and automatically reject scientific psychological help. Often champions don’t know how much they don’t know,” he said.

“He can no longer assume that he can regularly beat the big boys with his playing ability alone.”

steve-o Says:

Happy birthday, Roger!

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