Roger Federer is coming into the 2018 season with expectations considerably raised from what they were a year ago.
A year ago, he arrived in Perth, Australia for the Hopman Cup not having played a match for six months. All the questions about form, desire, fitness and health were still to be answered.
But he’s given some thought to how he’s going to approach 2018, as he turns 37 next August.
If Federer thought he could always go with roughly a 20-tournament-a-year schedule, he admits that reality has set in on that front.
Federer revealed quite a bit in an exclusive interview with French tennis writer Carole Bouchard, which aired on RTL (now available as a podcast) and subsquently was published in the newspaper Le Parisien
Here are a few translated excerpts. Go give Le Parisien the page views they merit for the rest of the good stuff.
Can he repeat last season’s results?
“It depends on the returns of Wawrinka, Murray, Djokovic, Nishikori, Raonic, how strong they’ll come back. How strong Rafa will be. I have all these objectives but if they’re really strong they’re going to beat me eventually,” he said. “So you have to have a little luck, too. Take advantage sometimes of good draws, if there are any.”
Federer said it’s about schedule management, in terms of him staying on Tour “for a long time”, if that’s what he chooses to do.
He said that, for example, if he decided a season was to be his last, then he could just let loose.
“You almost stop the fitness, just play the tournaments and go to the end, even if you’re tired,” he said. “Butif the idea is to play even longer, you have to give up a few things. I can’t chase everything, so I think it’ll be similar to last year.”
French Open in 2018?
“That’s the big question. The whole clay season takes up a lot of space. If you don’t play, it gives you a lot of time to recuperate and time to prepare. And if you play it, you have to give up other things. So that’s what we’re discussing, because it’s the most important decision of the season,” he said.