Federer: "There is a lot at stake for me in Halle"

Roger Federer really enjoyed his time with his family after the French Open. But even though Roger Federer’s wife Mirka and four children came with him to the Gerry Weber Open, it’s time to get serious for the tennis star.

“I am certainly not in a holiday mood. Now it’s time to get into the grass court season. There is a lot at stake for me in Halle. It’s the only tournament where I can defend a title,” said the 32-year-old Swiss Monday at a press chat for the start of the competition. “The excitement is there. I want to play well here and win.”

The six-time Gerry Weber Open winner has already went through two training sessions on the grass courts of Halle - with very different impressions.

“On Saturday I was a little bit disappointed how it went. It’s always a challenge to switch from clay to grass. But it was a joy on Sunday. The automatisms and rhythm just worked well,” said Federer. “I had a good base feeling again.”

Federer’s coach, former Swedish superstar Stefan Edberg, also came to Halle to support the 17-time Grand Slam winner. “It’s of course a dream to hit balls with him,” said Federer.

Federer said he greatly respects the “really strong field” who will fight for the 2014 title in Halle.

“You really have to be alert from the very first minute, ready for every test.” It’s kind of like a paradox for Federer. While there is a lot at stake with defending the title and the points he won, Federer said he doesn’t feel a lot of pressure going into Wimbledon. “I am anxious to see how everything goes.”

Federer expressly praised the performance of his long-time rival Rafael Nadal, who won his ninth French Open title on Sunday. “It’s amazing what he does on the clay,” said Federer. He said you cannot write Nadal off just because he didn’t have the same success at warm-up tournaments that he did in the past. “For me, he was the clear favorite from the very first rally. And you really can only tip your hat to him how he played during the tournament,” said Federer, who is looking forward to seeing Nadal in Halle. “I think he will have gathered enough energy by the time of his first match.”

Federer also addressed Andy Murray’s decision to work with French woman Amelie Mauresmo as coach. “That is a very interesting decision. But Andy was always open to go new ways. I think Amelie knows the game, is very professional and very smart.”

Before the press chat, the star for Federer’s sixth Gerry Weber Open victory in 2013 was poured into the Walk of Fame - the tunnel on the way to the main entrance. Numerous fans, journalists and camera teams were on hand for the ceremony, which the Swiss maestro took part in with tournament director Ralf Weber.

“The victory last year will always remain in my memory,” said Federer. “It was the only one of the season. And also at one of my favorite tournaments.”

Date: 10th June 2014, Source: Gerry Weber Open


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