Roger Federer: The Second Half Of The Season Is My Priority, That’s Why I’m Going To Take A Break
by Tom Gainey | April 3rd, 2017, 4:23 pm

In his post-match presser following an impressive win over Rafael Nadal in the Miami final, Roger Federer reiterated that he is not planning on playing any clay court lead-up events to the French Open. Instead, he said, he’ll work out in the gym and practice on hard courts and focus on the post-French schedule which includes Wimbledon and the summer hard courts.

“I think it’s more about relaxing right now, making sure I get a rest. So I think it’s more prevention, to be honest,” Federer said about skipping the clay.

“I’m looking forward to go back in the gym and work on the stuff I couldn’t do for the last few months.Yeah, so I’ll probably stay on hard courts actually for the next few months, if you like, and then I’ll get on the clay probably two weeks before the French. That’s the plan for now.”

Federer, though, did leave the door open for a potential clay stop.

“I can still change my schedule so I don’t regret anything,” he said. “I’ve just only taken the decision, and I definitely took that into considering consideration. Like I said, I’m not 24 anymore. I have to pick my moments where I can peak and stay healthy.

“Also part of the situation was that my knee was really strange on the clay last year, so maybe being away from the clay as much as possible maybe is a good thing as well.”

But, it sounds like Federer has his mind made up.

“At the end of the day, I need to look out for my health, that I’m happy in all parts of my life, personal, private, on-court life, professional life, and I can’t keep this pace up on every single day,” Federer said. “Just too much and I’ll run out. The desire will run out.

“I would rather stay take a step back and then really come back with a lot of energy and happiness. Then I can share that with everybody. Otherwise you’ll see me here and you will see that all I want to do is get out of here. I don’t want to be that guy. I really don’t.”

Federer also said that Wimbledon is one of his top goals for the season.

“Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal, I mean now in the near future,” he said. “The American hard courts I guess as well. The French Open I guess to some extent. It’s just we’ll see what happens, you know. No pressure there really because I won’t have a preparation as such.

“But all of the grass really is important to me because I’ll play Stuttgart and Halle there, too. Then of course I am looking very good for the World Tour Finals, for the year-end championships, where I’ve been very successful. I like the indoors as well.

“So for me basically the second half of the season is a big priority now. That’s why I’ll take a break as well.”

And if the results continue, Federer will have a very real shot a finishing No. 1 or least returning to the top spot sometime over the summer. The Swiss has no points to defend after Wimbledon!

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54 Comments for Roger Federer: The Second Half Of The Season Is My Priority, That’s Why I’m Going To Take A Break

skeezer Says:

Smart play. Wouldn’t even mind if he skipped the mud all together. Bring on the green grass and Strawberries and Cream!

steve-o Says:

Probably best to skip MC and Madrid to rest his body and mind and refresh himself, but I hope he plays Rome just to get a few matches. And as for skipping RG, no way José! He should never skip a Grand Slam, unless too injured to play.

Leo Says:

“Just too much and I’ll run out. The desire will run out”

I hope that desire never runs out, Roger! ;-) Great to see that he recognizes the need to be mentally fresh. He never really had a long break since turning pro. I think all that happened last year was a blessing in disguise. I feel he’s rediscovered his love for the game.

skeezer Says:

Just can’t see Feds new style of game translating into the Clay courts. Frankly, don’t see how it can work. It is hard to put the ball away on Clay, your not going to be able to push players around who turn into Golden retrievers and get to a lot more balls than on HC or Grass. Am super happy he is not going to invest too much in the Clay season. Leave that to the Retrievers….

Pitchaboy Says:

RF went to 4 FO finals and won 1. He knows how to win there. All he has to worry about are Rafa, Stan and Novak in that order. His tactics are working on slow courts: case in point, Miami. He will not be the favorite at FO but will be a contender. Remember, barring Rafa, he has beaten several golden retrievers there

Markus Says:

I’m so happy to hear Roger say that he is “happy in all parts of my life”. What a magical life! The GOAT debate is tiring and I have started to lose interest in it. He is my GOAT, and I believe to many others, too. That’s enough for me. If other people think somebody else should be GOAT, fine with me because none of that can diminish what he has accomplished. He has given me so much joy and excitement, GOAT or not, that will not change.

Daniel Says:

Ptich, actually, 5 finals, 4 lost to Nadal;-)

Agree skeeze, but somehow fell his return will work on clay as well and so getting the BH on the rise. But clay has too much grinding and his serve will be less effective also.

Eric Says:

I wish he would at least play Rome.

DC Says:

He may play Madrid. It’s a fast clay court and he’s beaten Nadal there in the finals of 2009; and made it to the finals a few more times.

Miles Says:

Reading some of the comments that Federer’s made, I doubt he’ll play more clay tournaments, as he’s described how the clay made his knee feel unusual last season – I wouldn’t be surprised to see him withdraw from RG nearer the time.

mike Says:

RF probably don’t give a damn concerning RG… If he feels it, he’ll go for it… may open a bet about him playing RG or not. I’ll then vote “not sure at all”

mike Says:

By the way, you may click my name for more original stuff about Fed

DC Says:

Fed is good to go for another 4-5 years.
Physically the body (stamina , reflexes etc) of a man has sharp decline in the late 20s and then once again post 40.
If fed refrains from getting injured and can continue this level of play, he can have another career in these next 5 years.

Daniel Says:

Don’t know DC,

Recovery time also is a huge thing. He can play close to 40, but he will be playing 10 tourneys a year tops and we don´t know if this success will continue.

Also he alreayd has a surgery on knee and said that changin to clay he felt it different. But last year was a couple months after the surgery itself. This yeart he would have mnore than 1 year to feel how it fell on the surface.

Also, winning keeps you winning and motivates you. He went to Miami to see how things would work, once he start going and got super competitive post Agut match, he was there in the tourney. Something that was misisng in Dubai. It was too “right after” AO and he didn´t had the inner motivation he had in US this time. Thus may happen more, hihgs and lows of “interest” hence he wants to peak for Wimbledon once more.

Aced out Says:

Roger should not play even the French open.

James Says:

I can’t see a good reason for Fed to play the French. With no clay warm ups, and even otherwise, he is not in the top 5 to win the French. Perhaps not even in the top 10. Then why risk injury? Take month and a half off, and start preparing on grass. He has already played quite a bit this year, so the rust is off, so he will be match ready regardless of whether he plays the French or not. And he has two grass warm ups to get ready for Wimbledon, the real prize.

His goal HAS to be perfect prep for Wimbledon, and given the 12 matches he played on hard courts the last 3-4 weeks, skipping clay altogether has to be part of that perfect prep.

James Says:

IF, and IF Fed wins the wimbledon again this year, he reaches a stratospheric level that may never be reached by anyone else.

RZ Says:

@James – I see your point, but I think Federer has too much respect for the tour and for the slams to skip the French without a major injury. He may do it if his team and doctors convince him it has to do with longevity of his career.

My guess is that he’ll play Rome and the French. He does better at Madrid, but it may come too early in the clay season, whereas Rome comes soon before the French.

RZ Says:

The extra week between the FO and Wimbledon helps too. Not as much of a rush to go from one to the other.

skeezer Says:

Great read thanks!

django Says:

Can a player just skip 2-3 masters in a row for prevention?

Daniel Says:

Only the ones who fill ATP requisites as # of matches, age and forgtet the other.

Federer has no obligation to play Masters tourneys anymore, he got an exemption for it. He can play the schedule he wants.

Miles Says:

Django – a player can skip masters tournaments if he satisfies these criteria:

over 31
played more than 600 matches
12 years of service

Roger does!

the_mind_reels Says:

@skeezer: I thought so as well!

Yea, Miles has it right. It’s one exemption for each of those three criteria that is met, and then if all are met, then a player can skip them all if he wants.

Miles Says:

Sorry, that should’ve been over 30 on January 1st of the year in question, not 31!

Pitchaboy Says:

He was not even in top 10 to win AO according to experts. Berdych was supposed to beat him in round 3. RF will be fourth favorite after Rafa, Stan and Novak at the FO.

chrisford Says:

The Big 4 have some milestones they could set, but opportunities have slipped already.
Rafa just can’t win Miami, Paris-Bercy or the WTF.
Federer was never able to win MC, Roma, and only got the FO when Rafa and Nole were a bit out of sorts in 2009. Still, he is the 3rd best clay player of his time save for Rafa and Novak, and some would say he is the 2nd best. Should he win the FO, and he is a threat to do that, he gets a double career Grand Slam.
Djokovic would also vie for a double career Grand Slam at the FO. Still too thin, and his serve and elbow are troubling him, he’s lost the “eye of the tiger” and therefore he cannot be a favorite. And once again, later, he’ll try for Cincinnati Masters to become the 1st player to win very major ATP title. (Masters, Slams, WTF).
Andy Murray is ready to win on clay. It could go to him at the FO. And it would be deserved.
And Stan is capable if he is “on”.

Humble Rafa Says:

Wouldn’t even mind if he skipped the mud all together.

He can go grazing with the cows? It is called “Clay”, holiest of all surfaces.

FedExpress Says:

“Federer was never able to win MC, Roma, and only got the FO when Rafa and Nole were a bit out of sorts in 2009.”

lol to chrisford’s last part.
Yeah sure, he got the win cause he hadnt hat to face nadal/nole cause they got beaten by soderling/kohlschreiber. Fed’s fault.

They were beaten by the better player on the day. plain simple.

DC Says:

Federer was never able to win MC, Roma, and only got the FO when Rafa and Nole were a bit out of sorts in 2009.”
LOL, just like Nole started winning when Fed & Rafa crossed their Prime; and Rafa started winning when Fed crossed his prime

At 35, Fed has put on a masterclass performance.Nole should be happy he was injured, else he would have been 3-0 against Federer this year.

DC Says:

A lot of Nole and Rafa fans try to discredit Federer and talk in Its and Buts and assumptions of what works have happened if their favourite player played the best tennis of all all of their time.

Well the fact is that they didn’t .And this fact cannot be changed.
And Fed did play the best tennis most of the time , and therefore he has most of the records under his belt

Miles Says:

Nadal wasn’t out of sorts at RG 2009 – he just ran into Soderling who was playing lights out tennis!

Djokovic wasn’t a threat at RG in 2009.

Eric Says:

lol @ ppl who don’t even remember that it was Roger who stopped Nole at RG in 2011

SG1 Says:

Aced out Says:

Roger should not play even the French open.


I think Roger feels a bit of an obligation to his French fans and probably doesn’t want to single out their major as the one he’s going to skip. I also think the reason that Roger will not go to any clay warm-up is that he fully expects to have a deep run at RG and he wants to be fresh for the 2nd week. Wimbledon is more physical than it used to be but nowhere near the physical test that the FO is. He should be able to recover from RG for Wimbledon without too much damage done.

I don’t see anyone beating Roger on clay until Week 2. Federer may be an attacking baseliner these days but he is still a baseliner. Stan won RG playing big hitting aggressive tennis. Don’t see why Fed couldn’t pull it off. He’ll be fresh.

the_mind_reels Says:

To chrisford’s comment earlier, it does seem like each of the greats has their kryptonite. Given Djokovic’s hardcourt prowess, I’m surprised that he’s never been able to win Cincy. (I think he’s lost 5 finals to Federer and Murray combined.) Federer has never made it over the finish line in Monte Carlo or Rome (8 finals losses across those two), and Nadal with his 5 losses in the finals in Miami.

I think I read that Nadal is tied for most losses in the finals of a single Masters 1000 tournament with Djokovic. Maybe Federer is avoiding Monte Carlo so that he doesn’t join them should he make a run to the finals :)

the_mind_reels Says:

@SG1: agreed. A fit, healthy Federer has always been a threat at the French. I’m not saying that a fit, healthy Fed is favored to win, but I think it’s much more the expectation that if he’s in shape, he’ll make a deep run.

The tweaks he’s made to his game should help him be more aggressive, so it’s not like he’s retooled everything and is suddenly at risk of the wheels coming off the wagon once he gets to clay because he’s pulling a whole new bag of tricks out on court.

To me, the big question will be Nadal’s movement and depth of shot. These areas have hurt him more recently in his career, but over 5 sets he’s been able to squeeze himself out of trouble at times. If he’s confident and hitting with depth, I think it could be his year.

Daniel Says:

Djoko is too consistant in RG the last few year: semis 2011, finals 2012, semis 2013, finals 2104, finals 2015 and title 2016. That is 6 straught semis or better.

Nadal has 4 titles from 11´to 14′, but than QF and R32 (abscent) last 2 year, so he sort of regressed there.

Murray has semis and finals last 2 year, so he also progressed.

Fed QF in 15´ and did not play last year. Big question Mark

Wawa title 15, semis last year.

J-Kath Says:

To Nole Fans:

I think the Davis Cup will be motivational for Nole’s return as a really strong contender for the balance of match wins in 2017. “When he’s good he’s very, very good”.

As for Andy – I feel sadly negative as I knew and know too many people of all age groups who never completely got over Shingles. I’d love to be proved wrong.

monterey Says:

Hope Novak gets back to his old form. He’s far too good not to. The matches between Novak and Fed are the best and most intense, really the most interesting rivalry out there. Yes, Novak has had the upper hand the last few years, but Fed was the only one to truly challenge him in his dominant period.

Now that Fed is playing great attacking tennis again with much confidence, it would be great to see the two of them go at it soon. Differences in style will make for some interesting and dynamic matches.

I look forward to this rivalry more so than any of the other top player rivalries. I wonder where poor Andy will fit in all of this?

the_mind_reels Says:

😂 That Tipsarevic interview is a good one. Coming from a guy who has had so much successs against Federer, he’s no doubt an authority.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Jkath, remarkable interview. hard to tell if its just nor gossip, from someone who was once close with novak, or if he knows these issues firsthand.
Does sound more and more as if novak’s slide has been more mental than physical – which makes more sense given the occasional returns to form, like making uso finals.

Markus Says:

LOL, the_mind_reels! Something to take into consideration when you read interviews like that of Tipsarovic. To the uninformed, he may appear better than what he really is. He also sounds like a very loyal friend, like a dog to his master.

skeezer Says:

Jon Wertheim mailbag from SI
“Federer is now swatting his way through his THIRD generation of tennis players”
Forget about weak/strong era argument, Fed has won Slams in THREE generations. ‘Mazin’.
“…this recent surge really burnishes Federer’s credentials.”
and another Wagon for the new Trophies.

Tennis Lover Says:

Anybody who is befuddled with doubt how 2017 version of Federer would have fared against Novak Satanovic is a satan himself. Novak is his current form will receive a straight beat down if he faces this Fed who is no more bothered by mental demon which he has developed over the years against certain players. We will see in this wimbledon how satanvoic will cringe in fear in the face of Angel Federer. Then I will give reply to his maggot fans like Chris ford and Wog boy and few other lunatics

DC Says:

The problem is Nole doesn’t enjoy the tennis he plays.
He truly enjoys planning shots that can WOW. He enjoys entertaining people with his tennis , just like Federer.

Unfortunately, in order to beat Fed and the Nadal,Nole had to developed a process , which consisted of less risky shots and waiting for the opponent to make mistakes. He truly doesn’t enjoy playing these shots. He enjoys the winning though.

If Nole wants to win more, he needs to motivate himself to go through the boring process. Optionally he can become a shotmaker like Fed and play entertaining tennis which will keep him happy. He won’t win a lot, however he’ll definitely not run out of motivation.

Okiegal Says:

The face of angel Federer???? Mushy gushy…….yuck!! Will the real lunatic please stand…. Satanovic……what??? Angel and Satan references on tennis forum……far out man!

Okiegal Says:

Don’t anyone count out Novak…..just going through a rough patch……

AndyMira Says:

@Okie…Yeah…I’m very disappointed once again with Tom,Sean, refer ‘Satan’ to Novak over and over again..and can get through here??In that case,u don’t need a guidelines..just delete it…it’s a waste..

lakie Says:

Tennis Lover is just as bad as some of the foul mouthed Djok fans. Ugh! Can’t stand bible spouting thugs who bring religion into ungodly posts. Fortunately we have decent fans of both Djok and Fed and I hope just as the decent Djok fans stood up to their foul mouthed fellow fans, the decent Fed fans like skeezer etc will stand up to TL and his ilk.

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