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Roger Federer is an exhausted man. After winning on Sunday in Madrid, the Swiss ace knows there are dozens of matches to play ahead of him in a gruelling summer where Olympics gold, Grand Slam titles and the No.1 ranking are all at stake.
He was a relieved man as well after a simple, uneventful 6-3, 6-4 victory for Roger Federer against Carlos Berlocq on Wednesday but then admitted he came so close to pulling out of the tournament just before his second round match.
“I hesitated until this morning after practice,” he revealed. “I just wanted to see how I felt and it there was anything major –if this were the last tournament of the season then there would be no problem but we have a long summer ahead. This is the beginning to many tournaments in a row and many five setters in a row and so I think it is important to make very good decisions.”
Federer regained his No.2 spot on the rankings displacing Rafael Nadal but he claims he pays no attention to the rankings system with winning tennis matches his only aim.
“I wouldn’t even know how many points I am right now,” he said. “Just occasionally I’ll check other rankings for my friend. But that kind of thing I stopped doing a long time ago. It just consumes more energy.
“Well it is always nice moving up and down is always tough. – but this is our career. The rankings are very mobile and obviously you don’t jump 20 slots when you are in the top five and honestly one slot means a lot. To me this is not a major issue and I look at the big picture and what is important to me is just to be in the top 10. If I’m No.2 or not at the French Open doesn’t change anything. That I was able to win Madrid was amazing, that is what I look at right now and not the rankings.”
Next up for Federer is a meeting with Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain. For now, Italian fans will be delighted to see a legend of the game commit himself to another week of hard graft where he could end up playing five games in five days thanks to his late arrival.