In walks in the man, the myth, the legend, Roger Federer, for his first press conference at the BNP Paribas Open. I get the vibe that the entire room wants to clap for him, but no one can’t because of journalistic integrity. I’m no journalist so I should clap, but I don’t want to upset the media mafia. I hear they’re quite powerful.
Again, this is paraphrased, as I could only type so fast. Here. We. Go.
This year, you turn 32, do you envision yourself playing ’til 37 like Ken Roswall? Do you think that far ahead?
No. Not THAT far ahead. A year or two, maybe. Sure, I’d love to be on tour at that age like the great Ken Rosewall did. Every career is unique in its own way. Life on tour is intense, but I feel like I have a lot of game left.
You’ve mentioned you wanted to play the Olympics in Brazil. Is that still a possibility?
I think it’s totally possible. That’s the goal. Make sure I practice a lot, do a lot of off-court work, working on fitness, so I can stay on tour a long time.
How much faith do you put in statistics?
A little bit. I watch 30% of the time. I rarely never see the stats.
Are the stats generally what you expected?
The errors and unforced errors are very tricky. I don’t necessarily need the stats to point out things.
Do you take unforced errors with with a grain of salt?
Yes. Sometimes I win a match with 70 unforced errors.
When did you realize you can’t eat what you want anymore? Is it hard to cut back on those things?
I live a very healthy lifestyle. I don’t have to think about it too much. I think everyone’s had those matches where it makes you change somethings (in your life). I’ve had those milestones along my career. Most changes were from about 15-22 years old.
Is it nice to see Rafa back?
Absolutely. I just saw him yesterday. I haven’t had much contact. He wanted to get a way from it all, which is understandable. It’s exciting to see him do well in South America and (to see him) here.
Quickly assess your year. Did it live up to your expectations?
I think I played really well in Australia. I was disappointed in Rotterdam; I never really got going. And Dubai was a little unfortunate with having three match points. I’m playing fine, though. I hoped to win a tournament by now, but overall happy.
Competition testing, you were a vocal player. Now there is biological passports. Do you think there should be more transparency?
I don’t care about the transparency part. I think the biological passports is good news. Just ensure our tour is as clean as possible. Tennis has done a good job of being as clean as possible.
Can you talk a little bit about traveling the world, about what makes the BNP Paribas Open special?
I like something about every tournament. There’s always something to like about it. Otherwise I wouldn’t play in it. The BNP, it’s peaceful, the fans really know the game of tennis. Of course there’s the beautiful center court, and it’s a prestigious tournament. All the greats have won here.
Anti-doping. What was the key factor to get the biological passports in tennis?
We’ve seen a lot of things happen across sports. With cycling, I think that really gets you thinking to make sure we do everything we can. The players got more vocal as well. I felt they were testing more back in ’03-04. I just think it’s important everyone understands how important it really is.
There you have it. In summary, Roger thinks he’s still got game, loves to see Rafa back and playing, loves the BNP tournament and thinks biological passports are very important.
Thanks for reading!