Seven years ago was the last time Federer played the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Back then, Federer was world number one for a year, and with two grand slams. Since then, he has not played in Rotterdam, has won a total of 16 grand slams, and has held the #1 ranking for 237 consecutive weeks, 285 in total. Now age 30, the Swiss maestro has slipped to #3, but boldly states that he is intent on returning to #1 and his fire still burns.

“I think I do [still] have the pressures of a World No. 1,” said Federer. “That never really changes with all the success I’ve had. I have the same attention; there’s just different stories written. I’ve had a wonderful career so far. The fire is the same, basically. It’s just in terms of having a family now and not being World No. 1.”

“But I take so much joy out of playing this sport and travelling the world still. I do care mostly about trying to win tournaments. That’s what’s important. That’s how I could get back to World No. 1 potentially. I have to get back to winning ways again after losing the last two, and I hope I can start doing that on Wednesday.”

“I’m very happy to be back,” said Federer, who went straight from Rotterdam airport to the Ahoy Stadium for a four-hour stint that included a pre-tournament press conference, a one-hour practice with Juan Martin del Potro, an autograph session with fans, and a meeting with corporate guests.

“I know this tournament from way back when; ’99 was my first time,” “I played really well from the start and it’s a tournament I’ve always enjoyed coming back to. I can’t believe it’s been so long. This time around everything just seemed perfect and I’m really happy to be here and healthy after the Davis Cup weekend. I’m really excited about the Wednesday start for me.”

Federer is playing the 39th ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam this week. He faces Nicolas Mahut, Wednesday evening. Also in the field are Alexandr Dolgopolov, Feliciano Lopez, Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych, and Juan Martin del Potro.

Watch full coverage this week of the 39th ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on FF07tv.

Source: ATP World Tour

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