| Federer |
New York: Roger Federer will turn 30 next week, but the Swiss winner of a record 16 Grand Slam singles titles said, on Wednesday, he will not pause for reflection since he is too busy plotting for more tennis success.
Federer will spend his birthday, on Monday, in Montreal at the Rogers Cup tournament, where adoring fans have serenaded him in the past to mark the occasion.
Im looking forward to turning 30, excited to see how the Canadians are going to celebrate my birthday this time around, because sometimes they start singing Happy Birthday during my match, Federer said.
Federer said the milestone birthday would not move him to take stock of his career and his future. My plans are always probably a bit over a year ahead of the time. Im already way past this point, he said. Im already thinking beyond the Olympics next year.
Birthdays, they happen. They are a part of life. Im happy Im getting older, added Federer, who is married and the father of twin girls. Id rather be 30 than 20 to be quite honest. This is, to me, a nice time.
Federer said he still loves the game, the lifestyle and the challenge as he ramps up his preparation for this months US Open, which he won five times in a row from 2004.
What has changed, is his frequency of winning.
Federer, who once reigned a record 237 successive weeks as world No. 1 and enjoyed the top perch for a total of more than five years overall, has slipped to No. 3 behind Australian Open and Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal, the French Open champion.
Federer is 1-3 this year against Djokovic and 0-3 versus Nadal, and his last Grand Slam triumph came at the 2010 Australian Open.
The Swiss maestro, who is comfortable trading groundstrokes or attacking the net and who has won majors on grass, hard-court and clay, said he was feeling fine physically heading into the years last Grand Slam.
In the preparation, nothing changes, said Federer.
Do you listen to your body more? Yes, you do. Are you more wise? Yes, you are. Are you more experienced? Yes. Do you have a thousand matches in your body? Yes, you do. You just go with what you have.
Federer is happiest, of course, when he is winning.
Ive won so much that you feel like if you put yourself in the right position and you do all the right things youll definitely get a shot of winning big tournaments, he said.
Federer said he draws inspiration from tennis greats who enjoyed longevity.
Like (Andre) Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, its very inspiring to see what they were able to do for a very long period of time.
My planning has always been long term. Im looking forward to how much more I can achieve from this point on. (Reuters)