MUTUA MADRID OPEN 2013
Federer Inspired By 30 Love
by ATP Staff|
Defending Mutua Madrid Open champion Roger Federer spoke about his appreciation for fellow players in the 30-and-over crowd after winning his opening-round match against Radek Stepanek on Tuesday. Federer admitted he would feel ‘awkward’ if he were the only player left from his generation competing and praised the sustained success of this peer group that includes Tommy Haas, Tommy Robredo and David Ferrer.
“[It's] nice to have that generation of players next to you,” said Federer. “Because if I [were] the only guy over 30, it would feel a bit awkward, to be honest. But I'm not… it's definitely inspiring seeing all the other players, many guys over 30 years old, still playing on Tour and playing well.”
Federer also reiterated his previous desire to play on the ATP World Tour through the age of 35, which would allow him to contest his fifth Olympic Games in Rio.
“I made the breakthrough early, but for years I've always looked at the long term,” Federer said. “I think that helps me to play for a long period of time, hopefully. It was always my goal to play until 35 or more. For that reason, I still feel I have many more years to go.”
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The Swiss superstar is chasing his 77th tour-level trophy this week, which would draw him level with John McEnroe for third in the Open Era. When asked about the potential to equal the American’s milestone, Federer joked, “And [his] 70 doubles titles,” before stating, “I would love to tie McEnroe at 77, no doubt about it.
“He was an amazing player and brought a lot to the game, like some other great champions and legends have done and paved the way for us. We can only be thankful for everything he gave to tennis, because he didn't just stop after he stopped playing. He kept commentating and kept the game exciting for fans and TV and so forth and even plays seniors still a lot and keeps on promoting tennis. It would obviously be a big deal for me.”
Federer is ranked second in the Emirates ATP Rankings and has ambitions of returning to World No. 1 in the future. Last year, Federer regained the No. 1 ranking for 17 weeks, setting the all-time mark of 302 weeks at the top.
“It's not the goal right now. [But] down the stretch, hopefully [I can do it] again,” said Federer. “For that, I need to start winning matches and tournaments and so forth. I'm focused right now on making sure that my return to the Tour is a strong one starting here in Madrid. Then we'll see how successful I've been once the US Open is over.”