Federer: 'A much more complete player'

In 2003, Roger Federer took the court for his first-round match at The Championships against Hyung-Taik Lee, unaware that this Wimbledon encounter would ignite the start of a history-making career.

On Monday, seven-time champion Federer opened his title defence in commanding fashion, brushing aside Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, and afterwards, reflected on his growth as a player since winning his first major title 10 years ago at the All England Club.

“I just feel I'm stronger, because I was just starting to grow into a man's body back then, if you like, not quite sure how [enduring] I was on the court. I was not always quite sure tactically how to play,” Federer said. “Mentally, I still had that edge where I don't know if I could handle it at all times in every single match. That was something I was still trying to prove to myself.”

“Today, because I'm stronger, because I have the experience, because I've played so much, I'm just overall a more complete player. In those 10 years, many things have changed: racquet technology, strings, balls, court speed. All these things have a big impact on the game. I also had to adjust accordingly to it.”

Federer also discussed the evolution of the modern day tennis player and tactics, and how players need to be prepared to adapt in order to maintain their standing among the game’s elite.

“In the process, other players came on the tour. There were less serve and volley players, less chip and charge players and more baseline players. You have to adjust,” said Federer. “If the game went into serve and volley, that's what I would be doing today, too. I just had to adjust to the circumstances. Honestly, as a tennis player, you can never stop working on something. I always believe all of your strengths need work and all your weaknesses also need work.”

The Swiss superstar is aiming to win a record eighth Wimbledon crown and is seeking his 18th major title overall. Though he had a 5-0 Head 2 Head record against Hanescu entering their meeting, Federer said he was prepared for anything to happen.

“I pack my bags anyway for five sets every single time,” Federer said. “So I'm happy that things went well out there today.  I mean, in the first round, we've seen the surprise losses happen too often.  I was always going to give credit to Victor.”

Date: 24th June 2013, Source: ATP


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