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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