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Roger Federer claims he feels more relaxed on court thanks to his extraordinary success over the years. The Swiss has 17 Grand Slam titles and believes with such remarkable statistics behind him he can now focus on tennis in a different light.
Federer was again coolness personified as he oversaw the threat posed by South Africa’s Kevin Anderson to win by a 63 75 scoreline, even if his opponent briefly recovered to level the set at 55 in the second after Federer appeared to be cruising.
“I consider I had one of my best years from 2005-2007 so of course I was confident going on course,” he said. “More confident than today because I was winning over 90 per cent of my matches. I was in a zone and it is really important to be there for the longest possible time. Enjoy it, add titles, live the drea.
“As a kid I wanted to be a professional and be able to play big matches in big stadiums, that was what it was all about for me. I’ve been more successful than I’ve ever thought I was going to be. If I wanted more success I had to work harder and sacrifice some things.
“But today things are different. My life has changed, my mindset different. My titles , my records are all there so I feel less pressure. I don’t want to say I’m less driven but I’m in a really good place right now.
“I enjoy playing tennis with a proper goal in mind – that’s what’s important to me. I enjoy practice, enjoy travelling, enjoy the matches, everything that surrounds the game – the fans, sponsors, press can never be too much for me and today I can enjoy those things more that I have ever had. Life on tour is better today.”
Federer will take on Tomas Berdych next after the Czech just came through a tense final set tiebreak 72 against Italian Fabio Fognini, who came so close to giving the home crowd what they wanted on Pietrangeli.