17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer suffered a surprise exit to Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final round of the Sony Open, nixing a potential meeting with Novak Djokovic in the following round. While the loss was disappointing, Federer is keen to look ahead to the upcoming clay court swing in Europe.
“That’s going to be something I will be looking forward to.” Federer said after his quarter-final loss. “And then the clay is something I have always actually enjoyed, you know, throughout my career. It’s where I grew up playing on. It’s where I played most of my tennis in my career.”
Federer explained that the early part of the season was the hardest for him personally due to the extraordinary travel required. Trips to Australia, Dubai and then the USA (both East and West Coasts) have been tough on him and his family. This is contrasting to the upcoming four months on the tour, which will mostly take place in Europe.
“No, I like the changes, you know, of continents and surfaces and all that. Yeah, I mean, one more now in the indoor hard courts, so that’s going to be a slight adjustment now.And this is the last jet lag we have to fight for five months or so, and then we come back to the East Coast, which is easy, and then we go back again after that. So the next five, six months actually are going to be quite easy traveling‑wise for us. The beginning is tough when we go to Australia and then West Coast and all of that; Dubai, as well, for me.”
While Federer is excited about the proposition of beginning his clay court season, he admits that it feels shorter each year.
“I always feel shorter and shorter every year, the clay court season, for some reason, because I don’t play the clay after Wimbledon anymore like I used to.”
In 2013, the Swiss No. 1 altered his traditional schedule to take part clay court tournaments in Hambury and Gstaad following his surprising exit from the Wimbledon Championships. While that lengthened his clay court season, he doubts he will be repeating the process this year,
“Last year was a nice change with Hamburg and Gstaad. I don’t think I will do that again this year, but we will see what I’ll be able to play and whatnot, depending on my wife. And then clearly I’m going to look forward to just Europe in general.”
Federer’s is scheduled to compete alongside world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka in the Switzerland vs Kazakistan Davis Cup quarter-final tie, which takes place between April 4-6.