Federer to play less, aims for 2016

Roger Federer addressed the media and press today before his exhibition match against Thomaz Bellucci (part of Gillette Federer Tour; schedule here, live stream information here).

The Swiss maestro said he will not play as often in the next few years and hopes to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The 31 year old Federer will focus on keeping up a high level in the tournaments he chooses to play in.

“I have to make sure that I take care of my schedule, of my body, of my mind,” he said Thursday before an exhibition match with Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. “Hopefully I can still stay on tour for many more years and hopefully play the Olympics here in three and a half years or so, so I have to look far ahead and not just the next six months.”

While Federer has participated in four Olympic games (winning the gold medal in doubles with Stan Wawrinka in 2008, and silver medal in singles in 2012), he has aspirations for playing one more.

“There is a lot of passion for sports here,” said Federer, the winner of 17 Grand Slams. “It’s a hot place to play tennis right now.”

The Swiss star went on to speak of the challenges and sacrifices made, away from his family and time for practice. However, it was still rewarding.

“I’ve played a lot of tennis. It’s been a big challenge, especially with the Olympics and the Davis Cup this year,” he said. “I found my way back to world No. 1 and it took a lot of sacrifices. I’d like to be home a little bit more often and in a relaxed fashion.”

“I’m very happy that I’m still playing at a very high level,” said Federer, who won six titles this year, including Wimbledon. “I had one of my best years on tour this year, and one of the most emotional ones, of course. Next year tournament victories will probably be more important than the rankings, that’s why I need to make sure I practice a lot next year.”

“I’m not going to play 25 tournaments, but every tournament that I will be playing I’ll be emotionally attached to it, because I either won there before or because I’ve been there many times or because I love the city or the country and the fans,” he said. “Today, I’ve reached a point in my life that I can pick and choose where I want to play and how much I want to play.”

One of those tournaments is the Miami masters, which he had previously played every year since 1999 (champion 2005, 2006).

“Miami was a tough decision for me,” he said. “But I have to take some time off, first of all, but most importantly, I need to practice. This year I couldn’t practice at all. Something had to go in the calendar and that was Miami, unfortunately.”

“It’s difficult, but I’m happy to set that challenge and I’ll give everything I have,” he said.

Source: Tennis.com

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