As a teenager I used to be crazy on tennis courts. Today I’m more grounded, have a family.
The mistake is to believe everything you see.
I’m such a perfectionist that I can’t accept mistakes.
That beautiful feeling of match point, winning match point… That’s where the circle closes.
For me it’s the only right thing to do: to be happy, feel happy, and also share that with the people. It’s very important to me.
My girlfriend was missing me on the road, and I was missing her when she was home… It was an interesting time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, 365 days of the year. And, yeah, we loved every moment of it and still do.
Not being with my kids is like—well, what’s the point in having kids?
I like playing tennis. I like everything about it.
I didn’t expect to become a professional tennis player. How it all turned out to be. I grew up hoping at Wimbledon one day, to be world number one, to go as far as winning tournaments over and over again. I achieved so much more than I thought I would. It has been magical really.
I just focus on one thing and do that a hundred percent.
I’m eager to become an oenophile.
I look like I’m so laid-back, I love everything, and it all came so easy for me. But it wasn’t like that at all.
Eleven years ago I would have only hoped to be still able to play at 35. Yet here I am.
Being Roger Federer is a pretty great feeling right now. I am going through a really exciting phase of my career, of my life. I can only be happy.
I don’t live in the past, I don’t dwell on it. I still have plenty of goals moving forward. I love being on the court, traveling the world with my family, playing tournaments. I think it’s wonderful that I can still do that at my age.
The Shanghai Rolex Masters is one of my favorite tournaments – a priority in my schedule.
It comes quite naturally to me to be always more an offensive than a defensive player.
I’m serving very well and playing quality tennis. Playing offensive gives you the opportunity to transition very quickly, and that’s allowed me to go for great shots.
I like beauty in motion.
My approach to training has remained more or less the same. If it has changed slightly, it is only because I am older.
I can count on a solid base of fitness now, so it’s definitely more about quality over quantity these days.
I feel more inspired if I go to a nice concert.
I have never fallen out of love with tennis. Of course there have been moments, particularly when I was younger, when I used to get really frustrated. I didn’t enjoy training or competing all the time. Losing. But I’ve always picked up the racket again and kept going to practice, to the next match, the next tournament. I’ve never really lost motivation.
Honestly I don’t care if I lose a set 7-6 or 6-1. As long as you lose a set, it’s not a good thing.
I can run for four or five hours. It’s not a problem. I prove it in practice again in the off-season no sweat. So from that standpoint I’m not worried going into long rallies. I know you guys make it a different case. I get that, because you think I’m old. But it’s no problem for me.
All of us, with Rafa, Novak, me, Murray, we’re all very happy with our careers. Of course, you can argue all these cases. We’re trying our best, you know, everybody. I think we’ll all walk away very happy that we were as successful as we were.
Everything’s easier when you have a crowd like that. I spent a lot of hours on the practice courts, for exactly moments like these where you feel like you’re appreciated, you’re being pushed forward, they want to see you win, and all that.
Sometimes it can be very motivating and inspiring, to see yourself do great things.
I really think I understand the geometry of the court very well because it keeps on changing all the time. If you’re closer to the net or further away from the net or you go further wide, different angles open up, so for me that’s been good, that works the mind very well.
I like what I’m doing – being on tour, being competitive, being celebrated – and that’s exactly the point.
Some shots are complete creativity, completely just out of reaction, trying to get to the ball and when you’re at the ball what are you going to try to do – you’re not sure yet. And the outcome sometimes is phenomenal and you can’t believe it yourself at times.
Stay calm under the biggest of pressures, and it’s just a weird thing to be in.
Tennis has been great for me, I learnt myself very well through tennis. There’s no hiding out there. There is no helmet, there is no team, it’s just you.
The problem is when you grow older a little bit, you become more experienced and you know the margins better. You know if you go full swing with your forehand what the chances are… you start (understand) the percentages very well. When you’re young, you don’t, so in the biggest of moments you just say I’m going to go for it and it works because you truly believe it’s going to work.
I remind myself to still keep going for it, keep staying young in my mind, stay fresh, stay fearless.
I always liked figure skating.
I can’t believe how old I am. Time goes by way too quickly on the tour.
Today I love practice. My favorite is when nobody’s watching. I feel I can be a clown or how I really am. When there’s a crowd, I feel I’m being watched. People are taking pictures. People are filming. People are analyzing. So I go more into the zone: OK, let’s make this a good practice, let’s try to work on what we wanted to do.
Clay court. It’s still the surface where I did grow up. Still a surface I feel comfortable on. I’ve spent maybe most time of my life on that surface.
The best players can play offensive and defensive. I guess Rafa [Nadal] and Andy have more the defensive. They really don’t want to miss but today they’re great attacking players, some of the best in the game. And the same for me and Novak, we’re more attacking players but we’ve also gotten very good at defense.
Criticism can be used as fuel.
For me, just being on the court is enough. And let’s say I lose in the finals, I still get together with my team and my friends and I’m like ‘It was a good week.
I like to be under the lights and under pressure. The fans support in a full stadium can create that kind of atmosphere. During practice I can never play so well; the thrill of the matches is amazing. I’ve always been more of a match player than a practice player.
It took some years before I was really relaxed on the court because I was somewhat of a hothead early on in my career, but I eventually learned that controlling my emotions and staying relaxed and focused during a match helped me to conserve energy and allow me to focus on each and every point.
I know who I am, so it is easier to feel if I fit with a brand. The first thing is I have to like the brand so that I can believe in it and help that brand.
I love traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures, surrounded by friends and family.
When I am done with the ATP Tour, I hope to be able to stay involved with the sport, as I love it so much, but I also will become more hands on with the Roger Federer Foundation.
I started the Roger Federer Foundation in 2003 with a focus on helping young children in the continent of Africa. My mum is from South Africa, I would travel a lot when I was younger.
It’s really nice to have two separate homes. One in Switzerland and one in Dubai. It facilitates traveling. I always have a place I can leave my stuff and come back to. It’s beautiful here. It has the beach, it’s great for my kids.
All the places I’ve played enhance my game a lot. As an athlete, we do also need inspiration. When you can practice in a place where after you finish you feel like you’re on vacation it feels great. Sometimes in other places you don’t quite have that so you have to make it fun for you in order to be successful on tour.
I think any sport is a good thing. It’s great school of life.
Usually you learn more when you lose just in the sense that you analyze them harder, deeper at times.
My style of play helps me to last longer. Most of the time, I decide how the point is played, I make the other one run. When Rafa takes 45 minutes to win a set, I can take 30. I worked really hard when I was a junior to build myself an efficient armour. Now, I work less hard, but more precisely.
I sleep like a log. If I don’t sleep 11 or 12 hours a day, it’s not right. If I don’t have that amount of sleep, I hurt myself.
I’ve always been aware that the image you patiently construct for an entire career can be ruined in a minute.
I never thought I was going to be as successful as I have been. How it all turned out to be. I grew up hoping at Wimbledon one day, to be world number one, to go as far as winning tournaments over and over again. I achieved so much more than I thought I would. It has been magical really.
When I retire, I’d like to live in Switzerland and be happy not to be recognized so much. I can imagine finding another job in tennis, like helping kids, juniors, that kind of stuff.