The following article appeared in the Brisbane Times:
Father-to-be Fed has no plans to quitMarch 26, 2009 – 9:04AM
Roger Federer has re-emphasised his future commitment to tennis as he prepares for a start at the Miami Masters, saying the pending summer birth of his first child would not change his fervour for the game.
“I’m very excited, you know, so is (longtime girlfriend) Mirka. We’re looking forward to see how it’s going to impact our lives,” said the Swiss second seed, who will open after a bye against American Kevin Kim at the weekend.
“I’m excited to see how much longer I can play. I’ve got a very energy-saving game, a relaxed playing style.
“I already have done so many things and achieved so many great records.
“I’m just adding (it) up, you know, which is scary to some degree, even for me, you know.”
The 13-time grand slam champion said after training for only two sessions following his Tuesday arrival in the wake of a semi-final defeat by Andy Murray at Indian Wells, he is once again suited to the courts at the venue where he won titles in 2005-06.
“I’ve got one more hour tomorrow, and then off we go. It’s a decent amount of time to get ready. There are more of the gusty winds over here, and it’s more humid,” he said.
“But it’s not been bad, so it’s actually been pretty easy to adapt.”
Federer said he still has numerous goals in tennis, including for his child to some day see him play while his career is still active.
“I’m excited to go for my sixth Wimbledon and my sixth US Open,” he said as he went through his current to-do list on court.
“It’s, like, fascinating and motivating at the same time. That’s why I work extremely hard in the off season and make sure I’m in great shape. I’m a professional, but I like to have fun off court.
“And because I have the right balance, I think I’m going to be in the game for a long time.”
As you can see Roger will be playing Kevin Kim in the first round and not Michael Llodra as I thought. Llodra won the first set against Kim but then had to withdraw due to a groin muscle. But either way that shouldn’t make any difference to the result for Roger. It’s great to see Roger in such a positive mood again and laying the challenge down to Rafa. Whether it was meant for Rafa or not I’m sure he will take note of Roger’s comments. Rafa plays an energy sapping game in contrast to Roger’s energy saving game. This is what should allow Roger to be competitive for some time to come still and win some more grand slams in the process. On the other hand you feel when Rafa gets to Roger’s current age he will have to be thinking seriously about retirement, if injury hasn’t already forced him out.
Even though Roger is having a tough time of it at the moment there are many things he can take heart from. Since Wimbledon of 2004 he has reached the semi-final or better of every grand slam he has played. Here is his grand slam results during that time, starting with Wimbledon 2004 and and ending with the Australian Open 2009(W-Win, F-Final, S-Semi’s):
W, W, S, S, W, W, W, F, W, W, W, F, W, W, S, F, F, W, F.
What an incredible run! Even though he had a bad year in 2008 he still kept his record of semi-finals or better in grand slams in tact. As long as he can keep doing that he will put himself within striking distance of the title. So far he in 2009 he hasn’t been having problems with any players other then Murray and Rafa, so I see no reason why this his streak in grand slams can not continue.
He will just be hoping he can beat either one of these players in a grand slam as he has done before. But up to now Murray hasn’t been a problem for him in grand slams so hopefully that will continue. Miami is the last tournament before the clay court season gets underway where Roger will not be playing in the Master’s Series event in Monte Carlo. He has cut down on his clay court season so that he will be better prepared for Wimbledon, where he will surely be launching a massive assault on the title. I know he would like nothing more then to reclaim the crown there and reestablish his dominance of the last six years. Rafa will be tough to beat though it has to be said. After winning the title last year he will now have the belief to do it again.
But for now Roger will want to try and win the Masters Series event in Miami. That should give him some good confidence going into the clay court season and the grass court season. A Masters Series win is something he hasn’t had for a while now and even though he will be focusing on the grand slams these days, the big titles in between will help to keep his morale and confidence high. So their importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Between Indian Wells and Miami I think Miami is the one where he has the best shot at the title and he needs to strike there. At the very least he must get to the final. That would already be a great improvement after his loss last year against Andy Roddick in the quarter finals and his semi-final loss to Mardy Fish at Indian Wells.
But I’m sure he wouldn’t settle for anything less then the title.