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Roger Federer returns to the ATP World Tour this week for the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Spain. The Swiss maestro talked about his back troubles, time off, and his preparation for the upcoming stretch this summer. He is hoping to be tough to beat as he is scheduled to play all of the major events through September. Taking time off to rest his back, spend holiday with family and practice hard were all necessary at this stage of the season. Although nearly two months off seems too long, Federer did take a similar break in 2012 after his early exit in Miami.

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“For me, it was important to take a bit of a rest – not too [long] – just enough so I’m really sort of tough to beat in the next few months,” said Federer.

“What we play for at the end of the day is playing in front of fans and being part of the show and achieving things in your career you always dreamed about. For that, I need to work hard as well. I need to get away from it all, so that when I do come back I’m excited and motivated. That’s what I feel right now, and that can then carry you a long way.”

Federer is the defending Madrid champion and believes his time away will only help him as he gets ready for one of the most important stretches of the season.

“I’ve just been home and practising hard as I was hoping to. I feel good now,” said Federer. “It took me a little time to get over my back issue from Indian Wells. But at the same time, that collided with my vacation anyway, which was okay, so I didn’t lose much time there.

“Now I feel good. I’m obviously extremely excited being back on Tour. I’m sort of entering all the tournaments from here through to the US Open really, so it’s going to be a long stretch. You want to be ready for it. I’m very excited, which is a good thing.”

The Swiss maestro will play his first match against the either Bernard Tomic or Radek Stepanek. View the full draw here. See Roger Federer’s Nike outfit for the 2013 Madrid masters here. Watch full coverage of the Mutua Madrid Open on FF07tv.

Source: ATP World Tour

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