Ahead of opening up his defense of his Rolex Shanghai Masters title, Roger Federer opened up about expectations and his season so far.
Federer is focused on staying healthy and playing well. Some may question their physical or mental freshness late in the season, Federer has tended to shine during this final part of the year, having won 22 of his 98 career singles titles in the few weeks of the season after the US Open, including two Rolex Shanghai Masters titles and six year-ending finals.
“I have been very successful, so clearly I hope for something similar again this year,” Federer said. “I feel like I’m where I want to be. I know that this is where I could be playing a lot of tennis, depending on how I play. So, there is still obviously some goals left for the season.”
While 2017 “was a fairytale from start to finish” which saw Federer come back from injury to win seven titles, including two majors, the Swiss is “overall very happy” with the way 2018 has played out so far.
“I can see some people seeing the things not as good as last year if you compare to last year, but I also did play very well at the Hopman Cup, I won that, won the Laver Cup again this year, so I have actually been very successful when I played,” he said.
Federer started the year winning the Australian Open his 20th major, taking two more titles in Rotterdam and Stuttgart – he regained the world No.1 in Rotterdam.
“I’m just really happy. I’m healthy. I have won another slam again this year,” Federer added. “I always say when you win a slam in any season, it’s actually a very good season already. So I feel like there is still a lot more to play for. I’m actually very pleased about this season so far.”
While there is still a fair amount of tennis for Roger to play, certainly in the last couple of years there’s been a fair amount of speculation as to who can take over the tennis mantle. As someone who’s had to deal with heavy expectations early on, Federer advises giving younger players time to develop.
“For the time being, just to always talk about what is the potential of such-and-such player, I find it’s kind of wrong, because it’s just too easy to say it,” Federer commented. “People said I was going to be world No. 1 at 16, 17, or I was going to be like Pete (Sampras). And I was, like, well, I have zero titles. The guy has got, like, bloody 70. How do you compare me to him?
“You don’t know what I have in me. You don’t know how I’m going to handle the travels. You don’t know if you’re going to have children. You don’t know if I’m going to have a surgery at 22. You know, you just don’t know these things. So from that standpoint, I think time will tell.”