Roger Federer defeated his great rival, Rafael Nadal, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open final to win his 18th Grand Slam championship.
Roger Federer says he hopes to play for at least another two to three years and that his "mindset is for the long term" in assessing his tennis future.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have faced each other in eight major finals, plan to team up as doubles partners next year during the inaugural Laver Cup.
Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has inaugurated a street bearing his name before 1,500 admirers in Biel, canton Bern.
Roger Federer stepped out onto the red carpet at the 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Federer, speaking with reporters on a conference call, said he's played “very well” in practice matches with fellow players Lucas Pouille of France, Borna Coric of Croatia and Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Federer also said he doesn't regret sitting out six months of the season. The Swiss legend last played in July at the Wimbledon semi-finals (l. to Raonic in five sets).
“I do believe it could be very beneficial for the future of my tennis career that I've had this six-month layoff,” Federer said. “I feel rejuvenated, refreshed. Maybe mentally I needed this rest more than I thought I would. Maybe also my body needed a rest more than I thought I would.”
The 88-time tour-level titlist had never taken off so much as a few weeks in a season before this year. But 2016 was far from a regular campaign for the 35-year-old father of four.
In February, for the first time in Federer's career, he had to undergo surgery. A day after losing in the Australian Open semi-finals, Federer tore a meniscus in his left knee while preparing a bath for his twin girls. The right-hander returned to competition two months later, in Monte-Carlo, and, the following month, played the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
But Federer then missed another month of the season before making his return on the grass in Stuttgart. He'd play only two more tournaments, including Wimbledon, before later announcing he wouldn't play again until 2017.
“It was really about taking a tough decision to say, 'I give myself time, I deserve to give myself time.' I take six months off in a 20-year career, it's OK. If you look at six months off in a 12-month season it sounds like there's no chance I'm ever going to take six months off,” Federer said. “But I tried to look at the big picture. At least one thing I know now is I have no regrets. I feel I did everything this year to get my body back in shape and now only time can tell.”
Resting for so long assured Federer that he wouldn't need a second surgery on his left knee. “That for me was No. 1 and crucial. I just needed it to rest really,” he said.
After Wimbledon, he tried to play again in August but decided against seriously testing his knee. “I played again, very quick. There was a bit of a reaction in the knee and that's when you realise... we knew it was too early,” he said.
The time off had upsides as well. “It was great to spend more quality time with the kids, or me with more energy rather than having to worry, 'Careful, I have a match tomorrow' or 'I need to go to bed' or in the morning 'Don't wake me up' kind of thing because daddy needs to sleep a little bit,” Federer said.
Federer returns to action at the Hopman Cup, starting on 1 January 2017, which he will play in for the first time since he teamed up with his now wife Mirka in 2002. He will partner compatriot Belinda Bencic, 19, at the international team tournament in Perth.
Federer said his goal was to get fully fit and he was looking forward to a few matches in Perth before the year's first grand slam - Australian Open starts later in the month in Melbourne.
“This year is unique because maybe this is the year more than any time before where I do need matches at the beginning of the season. Matches have a different intensity about it and your body reacts according to it. I’ve played over 15 sets in practice the last few weeks and I feel I am there. It’s been a great preparation,” Federer said.
Federer, who has won 24 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles and 17 Grand Slam crowns, said he thinks his 18th Grand Slam title could come next season.