Federer: "I have high hopes to play well in Stuttgart"

Federer: "I have high hopes to play well in Stuttgart"

Stuttgart,

Roger Federer about his motivation

I just love to play tennis. I think I achieved the level of practice champion over the last weeks and months. Finally, I can play tournaments again. I’m so looking forward to that. It also shows me that I have the right mindset and that I just love to play matches and practice. I love the feeling of success and to travel the world, to meet other people, to play in front of the fans, and to experience different cultures and Center Courts. It is a great privilege to do all that with my family. That’s why I love tennis so much.

Roger Federer about why he skipped the clay court season

Taking a break helps the body to regenerate. It also helps to clear your head. It’s that much more fun to come back afterwards. Then you finally have your first match again, after all that hard practice. That’s what you want. It can easily happen that you lose your motivation when you play too much. That won’t happen to me, because I’ve become very selective about how much I play since last season. You just have to find the right balance between practice, matches and taking a break.

Roger Federer about what he did during his break

After Miami I would have liked to go on holidays. In fact, I had only five days of holidays because I was commited to the “Match for Africa” in Zürich against Andy Murray. After that, I improved my condition – that was my first practice block. At the end of April, there was the second “Match for Africa”, this time against John Isner. Amongst others, I also met Bill Gates there. That was a terrific experience. Then it was off to practicing again. Now I’m refreshed and injury free and hopefully will get a good start into the grass court season. I had some good sparring partners and no problems with my body. Of course, that’s always a relief. Training blocks can be more dangerous than actual matches.

Roger Federer about his chances against Nadal at the French Open

I wouldn’t have had a chance against Rafa on Sunday, not the way my clay court tennis is. I said before that Rafa is going to absolutely destroy the clay court season. To be honest, I didn’t watch much tennis during my break. Only the scores. I practiced myself and spent time with my family. I only watch much tennis when I’m at a tournament. If I’m not there, I usually only follow the livescores and such. I really felt for Stan (Wawrinka) during the Paris final. It’s absolutely gigantic how Nadal just did his own thing there.

Roger Federer about the change to grass court

The grass court season is short and very intensive. I won’t change too much of my game. The biggest change would be to just rely on Serve & Volley now. I think, I’m more dangerous, when I mix my game with good services, volleys and strong play from the base line. It’ll feel a bit different in Wimbledon. Just because of the size of the courts and the grass there. Grass court tennis mostly means reacting. I like to think of myself as being pretty good at anticipating. After my break, I have to work on those things becoming naturally for me again. How do you fend off a break ball? How do you get a break ball? I’ll have to adapt to that again. I have high hopes, though, that I’ll play well in Stuttgart already.

Roger Federer about his goals for the rest of the season

Obviously, Wimbledon is my big goal of the season. I knew that already when the year started. Rafa’s victory in Paris won’t change that. That was his great goal and it was nice to see, that goals can come true. Of course, it’s not perfect for me that Rafa is now coming to Wimbledon all pumped up (laughs).

Roger Federer about the MercedesCup in Stuttgart

This tournament has a soul because it’s held at a club. The change to grass court was only just a couple of years ago. I don’t know how it was before but the atmosphere is now propably different. It’s also not too far away from home. I came here by car and it was nice to drive on a German highway again for a change. The organization team is very nice and the people are happy that the tournament is back in Stuttgart. Physically I feel a lot better than last year and I’m really looking forward to playing here.

Roger Federer about his chances for number 1 in the world

After the strong clay court season, Rafael Nadal is now way ahead. I already knew after Miami that I would skip the clay court season and that it wouldn’t get any easier. But there’s still a lot of the season left. It’s absolutely not my focus. If there were a showdown in the fall, all the better. But I think Rafa is also not constantly looking at the world rankings, but is instead just trying to win as many tournaments as possible.

Roger Federer about the current state of Novak Djokovic

Comparing it to last year, it’s a pretty tough situation for him. Still, he is in the Top 4 of the world and the Top 10 in the Race, even though he has played rather bad by his standards. But the first part of last year’s season was incredible for him. It is pretty surprising that things changed afterwards. He had such bad spells in Indian Wells and Miami this season. I have to admit that I haven’t watched him play a lot and therefore can’t really comment on his situation. Most things I read in the media. He is just too good of a player to stay in that hole. He’ll certainly win Grand Slams again and will fight for the number 1. So, I absolutely think there will be a strong Djokovic in the future again.

Roger Federer about a potential duel with Tommy Haas in the second round of Stuttgart

I know that Tommy is a very good grass court player. I practiced with him tomorrow. He has a fantastic backhand, is able to vary his play and the fans have his back. Also, he’s beaten me at Halle not too long ago. He’s a good friend of mine. I hope for him, that he will win his first round match. It would be great for the tournament and for Tommy and we would like to play against each other.

Roger Federer about the secret why he still plays tennis so well

I very much stopped doing any dangerous sports. The risk of getting injured is just too big. But that’s no problem for me, as I now have kids and other interests. I don’t have to play Squash, Football or go skiing anymore. I take care to have enough time to regenerate. That’s good for the body. That’s why I think Tommy Haas is still playing. He often had time to take a break and regenerate. Nowadays, my body is not troubling me anymore. The back is good, the knee is good. I just have to take care to get enough sleep, with the kids and all the other things happening. That’s the most important thing for me.

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