The 37-year-old Swiss, Roger Federer has stepped on to the professional courts for the first time in Dubai after his pre-quarterfinal exit at the Australian Open 2019. Federer’s hunt for this eight title in the Emirati event kicks-off with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 victory against the 35-year-old German, Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening round. It was their 14th meeting in their careers and Kohlschreiber has never conceded a win against the Swiss prodigy.
Presently, Roger Federer has secured 99 ATP titles and the wait for his centurial ATP crown has been longing from his hometown tournament in Basel last year. Even if Federer’s major titles are deducted from his hoard of ATP honours, that itself accounts for a milestone in a tennis player’s career. He believes that to play for his 100th title reflects the numerous hours that he has dedicated to the game of tennis.
“Especially, it shows I have played a lot of tournaments and a lot of tennis, aside from the Grand Slams. A lot of people only see that they talk about Wimbledon, they talk about the U.S. Open or all the Slams,” Roger Federer said. “But then, actually, I don’t go in a refrigerator and just rest in-between those Slams. I actually play a lot. I think that the 100th title if I were to win here or anywhere else hopefully in my career, would actually show that I have played a lot of tennis in my career.”
Federer was asked about his notion of having 20 major titles which are the highest in the Open Era of tennis. “It makes me very proud,” Roger Federer replied. “The closer I came to Pete’s record, of course, you are not there to break it for him. You are just trying to achieve something for yourself, your team, your country. I was able to do that, nobody can take that away from you. So, I’ll be forever proud, that I was able to do it. And, someday, somebody anyway would come along and break it. Maybe it’s going to happen sooner or later, you don’t know, but that’s ok. Media is driving also nowadays, the stars and the players, to go out and break all shatter all records. But, I think, it’s been partially a motivation to me to maybe break some records along the way.”
Roger Federer mentioned that he did not pick up a racquet for the sake of breaking the legendary records, his main aim was to play good tennis. “But, it’s really been about playing tennis, playing against the younger generations, playing against my generation of players and also the guys who came before me, like, Sampras, Agassi, Henman and Moya. That was a cool time playing the guys I knew from TV. That was the initial thought of playing tennis and not to break any kind of records,” Federer continued.
Finally, he was interrogated upon which player would surpass his Grand Slam tally and Roger Federer replied, “Its all the question about how healthy they are going to be. You are always going to pick the guy who is right behind you and Rafa is that guy. We know what he can do on clay, and we know when he’s is on and he is healthy. He can also go on and dominate. I think, both (Djokovic and Nadal) equally have enough time. The question is really how long they can stay motivated, how long do they wanna play and how do they care about that record. If they don’t care, they might retire maybe next year or in two years. If they care about it, they might be playing for the years to come. I hope, for the game of tennis, that they gonna stick around for a long period of time.”