Federer finds family life getting 'Easier'

Roger Federer has found a winning formula for balancing tennis with family life. He became the father of twin girls, Charlene Riva and Myla Rose, 22 months ago and, like many athletes with families, was challenged with maintaining his career while adjusting to his new parental role. “A year ago I thought was extremely tough just keeping them entertained for a long time over tough flights… I think it’s getting a bit easier now again,” the World No. 3 said Monday in Madrid.

Federer is seeded third at the Mutua Madrid Open, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament at which he claimed a rare clay-court win over Rafael Nadal in the 2009 final.

He and wife Mirka have found that staying in a location for a longer period of time has made the travel demands less problematic. “It sounds like a lot of tough traveling but you can make it easier on yourself,” Federer said. “These are really short trips of just one and a half hours. If I want to plan it that I way, I could stay here for, say, nine days, which is a long time, so you can make it work.”

Benefiting from his family’s company on the road, Federer still has the drive to win and compete at the highest level. “Once you reach a good level as a tennis player or for that matter win Grand Slams or become No. 1 in the world, it really fuels you with a motivation and energy,” stated Federer. “Clearly wanting to get that feeling back of how it feels winning big tournaments and how it feels to be right at the top of the game [is something] that I´ve been able to do it for so long.”

From a psychological standpoint, Federer believes he has no motivational barriers to continue playing down the road. “I think I've always been really good mentally all the way through, even though early on in my career that was my biggest weakness,” said the Swiss. “I'm happy that consistency is not an issue, motivation is not the issue and I really enjoy my time on tour and hope to do it for many more years to come.”

His motivation will need to be at an optimum level over the next few months, as he’s in a battle for No. 1 with Nadal and Novak Djokovic. “I thought Novak has had a good reaction since the US Open, losing the final against Rafa on a hard court, which you figure could have been Novak's big chance to win it,” assessed Federer. “He didn’t do it so he took it the right way and took the positives out of it and he's gone on a really great run since then.”

Added the 16-time major champion, “I think all of [us in] the Top 5 have been playing really well for the past nine months and there's been good times in the game right now and obviously Rafa on clay is in a league of his own, and that makes it interesting for the next few months right now.”

Date: 02.05.2011, Source: ATP


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