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By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, August 13, 2021

Roger Federer

In a new interview with Blick, Roger Federer discusses his fitness, the challenging questions he asks himself and why he feels different at age 40.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

On court, Roger Federer exudes the skills to calm chaos.

These days, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is adapting to uncertainty.

More: US Open Qualifying Closed to Public

Federer, who celebrated his 40th birthday on August 8th, conducted a wide-ranging interview with Blick discussing his feelings on turning 40 and coping with a cranky knee after a pair of surgeries. Federer has not played since his Wimbledon quarterfinal exit and isn't sure when he will return.

Read Federer's full interview with Blick here.

"I haven't done anything for a while, because of the knee," Federer told Blick. "I had to let everything sink in after Wimbledon. This week I'm still meeting my doctors and my team and then we'll see how it should go on. At the moment, everything is still a little uncertain."

Federer felt the highs and lows of his Grand Slam return at Wimbledon. Five weeks ago, Federer deployed variety defeating Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 to become the oldest Wimbledon men's quarterfinalist in Open era history with his record-extending 58th Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance.

The high of that achievement was a prelude to a haunting Wimbledon end as Federer fell to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0. The former world No. 1 was bageled for the first time at SW19 suffering his first Wimbledon straight-sets loss since he bowed to Mario Ancic in the 2002 first round.

In the aftermath of his Wimbledon exit, Federer said he's contemplated several questions about his competitive career.

"It's difficult. It used to be different," Federer told Blick. "The questions were simple: What is my ranking? What is my next tournament?

"Today it's trickier: How would I feel if I started training again? What can I achieve? What are my goals? How do I reconcile everything with the family? What does the rest of the team say? Today I am much more attentive than before, the attitude is different. It's really completely different than it was ten years ago."

Since Wimbledon, Federer has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics, Toronto and Cincinnati due to lingering issues his his knee which puts the prospect of a US Open return in doubt. The US Open starts on August 30th.

Federer has played just five tournaments in 2021 posting a 9-4 record. He’s contested six tournaments total, including two on hard courts, over the last two years.Federer said ongoing knee issues have prompted both patience and perspective in his comeback process.

"You need more time for everything. If you used to have a blocked back, then it went on for two days and everything was fine again," Federer said. "Today it may be that it goes two weeks. You are more patient with the pain you have, with yourself, with returning to the court.

"At the same time, however, the joy of what has been achieved comes back. In the past, you took tournament victories for granted, but today you know what's behind them."

Reflecting on his 40th birthday celebration spent with wife Mirka, the couple's four children, his parents, Robert and Lynette, and friends, Federer said his milestone birthday sparked gratitude and optimism.

"It's like boxing. You have a lot fewer fights," Federer said. "Therefore, the focus on a single tournament is much greater. I had to learn that again. You have to adapt. It's always been that way in my career. The factors change: the degree of awareness, the successes, the experiences...

"I'm a quiet guy who takes things with a sense of humor. I always see the good in every situation. I'm doing very well, my family is healthy. I have just turned forty and I am still active. Who would have thought so? Not me. I'm totally at peace with myself and I'm sure a lot more beautiful things will come."


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