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Federer Looks To Find His Way In Gstaad

Gstaad, Switzerland

Federer © Valeriano Di Domenico/Fresh FocusRoger Federer makes his first Gstaad appearance in nine years.

Roger Federer looks for a lift on his return to the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad, where he made his ATP World Tour debut 15 years ago. The Swiss won the title on his last tournament appearance in 2004. 

“It’s good to be back, but it’s been a long time,” he said upon his arrival Monday. “I can’t believe it’s been nine years. It’s been 15 years since my first time here, so time flies on tour. Every day in Switzerland is special - especially playing in this country, I love it. I’m really excited to be starting here in a few days.”

While he stated, “I feel okay,” the 31-year-old Swiss admitted, “It’s been a tricky season, to say the least.”

Last week, Federer was upset by Federico Delbonis in the Hamburg semi-finals - his second straight loss to a player ranked outside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. 

“Clearly I’ve been asking myself questions of how can I get out of, I wouldn’t call it a slump because I did win Halle in between, and I know that the game’s just around the corner,” he said. “It’s just important that I take the right decisions, how to move forward from here and then how I bounce back, because usually when things don’t go so well I find a way, and that’s what I’m looking for right now.”

Currently ranked No. 5, with 1,450 Emirates ATP Rankings points to defend ahead of the US Open, Federer added, “Right now it’s important for me to maintain my ranking, and eventually hopefully when I win big tournaments again or more tournaments, then I can move up again. Right now, I just need to first make sure that I’m healthy, that I do all the right things in practice and then that I can attack again in the matches.” 

Federer will be back in front of his home crowd when he begins his Gstaad campaign against either German Daniel Brands, whom he rallied to defeat in three sets last week, or Swiss wild card and childhood friend Marco Chiudinelli.

“I feel like I play home almost everywhere I go; I have so much support all around the world, but there’s nothing like playing in front of your own,” said Federer. “There’s no doubt about it that it’s extra special - more friends and family can come support you and see you. Also once the match is over you go hang out with them more often, so it’s really comfortable as an environment.

“It’s nice, it’s home, it’s the cows, it’s the Alps, it’s everything you know about Switzerland and more, especially here in Gstaad. It’s a very unique event and I’m happy to be part of it again this year.”

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