Federer focused on success at Indian Wells

Roger Federer hasn’t always been a fan of the California desert, but now 30 and a father of two young girls, the Swiss admitted Wednesday he’s come to appreciate his visits to Indian Wells for the BNP Paribas Open.

“It’s a tournament that I’ve grown to love a lot over the years,” he said on Wednesday. “I used to like coming here, but I wasn’t a crazy golfer when I was younger or liked the peace and calmness. I was more a guy who liked New York or Miami or sort of places where something was happening, especially as a teenager, so when I came here it was almost a bit too quiet for me."

“As time went by, I like these weeks where it’s a bit more calm, weather’s nice, things slow down a bit before the hustle and bustle in other places… Obviously with the success that I’ve had, I started to spend more time here. I got to like it a lot. It’s a good place.”

Indian Wells has been good to Federer, who won a trio of titles at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament from 2004-06. This year, it could also provide the World No. 3 with a chance to recharge his batteries ahead of his second-round opener against either Russian Dmitry Tursunov or American wild card Denis Kudla.

The Swiss admitted he’s “had a lot on my plate” this past month, with Davis Cup duty in Switzerland, back-to-back titles in Rotterdam and Dubai, and a stopover in New York for the BNP Paribas Showdown exhibition, but also stated, “I’ve been feeling good for some time now.”

"I don't think I have over-played, but I have played enough. I have to be careful I do everything right not to get injured."

The world No. 3 turned 30 last August and says with age comes wisdom and the realization that you can't go full speed off the court if you want to remain at the top of the rankings.

"I used to do skiing, playing tennis, squash and soccer and you are like 'I can't believe I just did that and now my knee hurts and I can't move anymore,'" adding he was a vegetarian when he was younger so has always watched what he eats.

"I did my fair share of mistakes earlier. As time goes by you don't have the same energy level so you start cutting back and getting other interests that aren't so brutal on the body. And eventually you get to the time, where I am in right now, and you just don't do any other sports except tennis."

"I have to protect my body. I just have to practise well and stay injury free. Every player goes through a phase like that where your career becomes too important to you and you don't want to get injured doing something stupid."

Since a semi-final showing at the US Open, he’s compiled a 32-2 match record and five titles, including his 72nd singles trophy this past Saturday in Dubai.

“I actually came out feeling  better at the end of Dubai than I felt at the end of Rotterdam,” he said. “It’s a good thing looking ahead. I just played MSG (Madison Square Garden), and now I play here and Miami too. It’s a tough stretch, but I feel great. I’m playing well at the moment, since many months now.”

Date: 08.03.2012


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