Roger Federer: "Very hungry and eager to attack"

Roger Federer entered the New Year refreshed and fervently anticipating a resurgent 2014.

Following a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 defeat to Lleyton Hewitt in Sunday’s final of the Brisbane International, the Swiss conveyed his impressions and reflected on the state of his game after the season opener, with the year’s first Grand Slam just a week away.

“I’m very hungry and eager to attack. I’m not thinking too far ahead. I’m not thinking short term. I’m definitely going there [Melbourne] to hopefully be there for a long time and putting myself in a good position.”

The 32 year old looks to continue his strong run of form that originated with a semi-final finish at the ATP World Tour Finals late last year. He looked back on his offseason training regimen, admitting that everything is coming together and holding up well after a back injury hindered his 2013 campaign.

“I’m looking back now, the last three, four months it’s been very positive going through Basel, Paris, and London. All three weeks in a row where I played a lot of matches, a lot of three setters as well. I went through all of December and probably practised more than all the guys ranked ahead of me because they were playing exhibitions and all that stuff. I did that for a full month, a lot of training, and now here I had another busy week and I’m actually holding up very good. So that's a good sign moving into 2014.

“I didn’t quite know what to expect from myself before the tournament. I played consistent, I must say. No breaks in the first three matches. Lleyton was the best player I played this week. He made it toughest on me, so I have a clear idea what I need to work on and I have a clear idea where my mind and body is.”
Federer had high praise for his longtime rival and acknowledges that Hewitt has made significant adjustments in his game over the years.

“I was making a lot of the shots early on, so also we didn't have the classical rallies we usually have against each other. He’s hitting the ball more flat. He doesn't allow you to come to the net as much anymore like he used to before back in the day. He used to almost make you come in and then pass you and frustrate you that way. So he’s changed that around a little bit because of the power game that exists in today’s game.”

Federer entered Sunday’s final leading 18-8 in their Head 2 Head series and had lost just once in his last 17 meetings against Hewitt. A storied rivalry that spans three decades, the Australian and the Swiss first met in 1999.

Date: 6th January 2014, Source: ATP


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