With less than a week to go before the ATP World Tour kicks off for another exciting season, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is patiently awaiting his opportunity to redeem himself following a less than stellar 2013.
Now in the final stretch of training before the 2014 season, Federer is narrowing his sights on the Brisbane International, where he hopes to begin his year on the right foot and build momentum ahead of the Australian Open.
“I have high hopes Brisbane will be very successful for me and that the next (Grand Slam title) will be the Australian Open.” Federer told The Sunday Mail. ” That’s what I am training for right now.”
For Federer, success did not come instantly or on a silver platter, meaning he had to work hard over a period of time to find the right combination of characteristics to make him successful.
“Some great players have a `I hate losing’ attitude. I’m a guy who loves winning more than I hate losing. ‘Both work, as we have seen over the years from so many players, the ice in the veins sort of guys and the fire in the stomach sort of players.
I feel I found the right combination for me to be successful on the tour.”
In an era that saw young guns such as Lleyton Hewitt, Marin Safin and Andy Roddick make rising stars out of themselves, Federer recalled felling of frustration for not reaching their level in his early days. He says it took him finding his inner toughness and grit to finally reach the top of the game.
“In the beginning, maybe I was too nice to be successful. You need to have that fire, that grit, that toughness to be successful for a long time.”
This year Federer has lost to the like of Federico Delbonis, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Daniel Brands, which has surprised the vast majority of tennis fans and brought about questions of a potential retirement. It did not help that the Swiss star went 0-7 against Nadal, Djokovic and Murray in 2013.
“This stretch is very important for me and I really don’t want to have any more setbacks,” he said. “I feel very confident about my chances, not only in Brisbane and Melbourne, but also beyond that.”