Passion pushes Federer on
ROGER Federer believes improved diet, greater professionalism and a shrinking world will lead to more tennis stars playing deep into their thirties.
Federer will match Lleyton Hewitt’s record of 20 consecutive Australian Open appearances when he bids for an unprecedented seventh men’s singles crown in Melbourne.
At 35, Federer insisted playing on had nothing to do with keeping clear of great rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on the grand slam titles leaderboard.
“I don’t think I needed them to push me, to be quite honest,” he said. “It’s more: ‘How is my wife? How are my kids? How is my body? How are my results?
“And my goal was always to play for as long as possible, because I have a lot of passion for this sport. I love playing tennis – always have.
“I’ve always tried to remind myself that this was my dream to become a tennis player, and that’s why I think I’m able to show so much enthusiasm for tennis. So when I saw Andre Agassi, or others, Ken Rosewall, Jimmy Connors play for a long time, I thought that was pretty cool, that they played through so many generations.
“So if I had a chance to do it as well, I’d be happy to try to go there as well.”
Federer can barely believe he’s still top 10, let alone world No.3. “But I feel with flying being more easy today than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago and that we’re doing more rehab, more stretching, more massages, we eat probably better and we have a bigger entourage (it’s not so surprising),” he said.