Love of the game why Fed­erer keeps on keep­ing on

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport -

ROGER Fed­erer be­lieves im­proved diet, greater pro­fes­sion­al­ism and a shrink­ing world will lead to more stars play­ing deep into their 30s.

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, he had un­fin­ished busi­ness to tend to but in­sisted play­ing on had noth­ing to do with keep­ing clear of great ri­vals Rafael Nadal and No­vak Djokovic.

“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, not that it be­came a job as such and that’s why I think I’m able to show so much en­thu­si­asm.

“So when I saw like 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 said he could barely believe he was still top 10, let alone world No.3.

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