Roger’s playing in Dubai this week, where he’s defending championship points and potentially facing Novak Djokovic in the finals. After needing three sets to overcome a Tunisian qualifier, Malek Jaziri, in his first match this week and being bounced by Julien Benneteau in his last tournament in Rotterdam, Roger seems to be a off of the great form he showed us last season. But fear not, Fed fans, Roger has a plan.
There will be tradeoffs of course, as he says his determination to win more big titles means spending less time at tournaments and more time training and with his family. Roger will be taking almost two months off from tour between Indian Wells and Madrid (both tournaments he won in 2012).
He explained the thinking behind his schedule to reporters in Dubai (TheGuardian):
“The last few years have been really tricky in terms of my practice schedule, especially through an Olympic year [in 2012],” said the world No2. “This year is totally different. Family is very important, so I also want to spend quality time with them.”
“I can’t play a year like I did last year every single season because that isn’t the point I’m at in my career. I’m not 22 where I have to play 25-30 tournaments a year.”
But don’t start thinking this is his slow fade to retirement (via FoxSports).:
”I want to give myself the best possible chance to play as long as I can,” Federer said.
So he can win more Majors (via Tennis.com):
“I strongly believe I have more Slams in me,” Federer said. “Which Slam do I favor — does Wimbledon over-weigh the rest? Maybe, but looking back there have been amazing moments with each Slam. It depends how long I play. But I don’t want to be depending on that. I am trying to be smart with my schedule. I am practicing more. Your prime is 23 to 27 or 28 so for me it’s very challenging — and exciting. I need to make the right decisions.”
And perhaps get back to NO. 1:
“It’s definitely realistic if I’m playing great, but I need to play absolutely great. . . I can play great, but will I be allowed to? Time will tell.”
And then there’s this caveat:
”Eventually, it will be clear that it is time to stop, but the time is definitely not now,” he said. ”But then again, things change very quickly. You have to be ready for it and open to it. I’m not naive that I can play for 15 more years, but I would like to give myself a chance to play for many more years to come. I’m happy with where my body is at.”
Just for the record Roger, the rest of us are definitely not “ready for it” or “open to it” AT ALL. so please don’t even go there, okay?