Friday, March 22, 2019

Roger Federer talks Miami Open

Roger Federer shared some breaking news ahead of his 18th appearance at the Miami Open presented by Itau. The 37-year-old, who won his 100th tour-level title in Dubai earlier this month, doesn't plan on sticking around to win title No. 200.

“Not another 100, I can tell you that,” Federer said when asked how many more titles he wants to win.

“I hope a few more. I'm just very happy to be at 100 already. It's exciting to have won that many and to have gotten another chance in Indian Wells. It was a pity [to lose to Dominic Thiem]... but it's how it goes, so I just have to keep plugging away and hopefully give myself some opportunities.

“The important thing is to be healthy, happy playing and that's exactly how I feel right now sitting here in Miami.”

Federer has had a busy few months to start 2019. After a disappointing fourth-round exit at the Australian Open to Greece's #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas, he gained revenge and beat him to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on 2 March. Federer followed that by reaching his ninth BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday.

But the 27-time ATP Masters 1000 champion, who missed out on a record-setting sixth Indian Wells title, doesn't hold any regrets about the final, which saw Thiem win his first Masters 1000 crown.

“I felt like that one was easier to digest, even though the result was close. I felt like I was still happy with the run I had in Dubai and Indian Wells,” Federer said.

He didn't always get over matches that quickly. “I think it always depends on how the match played out, how you feel at the very end. Do you feel like you have massive regrets? Do you want to go back in time and play certain shots over again and hope for a different outcome?” Federer said. “It's definitely much easier nowadays than when I was younger.”

Federer has won three Miami titles, all of which were won at Key Biscayne, where the tournament was played for 32 years. This year the season's second Masters 1000 event is taking place at the Hard Rock Stadium, in Miami Gardens, the home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

“We left an iconic venue in our sport in Key Biscayne. Back in the day we had best-of-five set first-round [matches] in Key Biscayne. It was a massive tournament,” Federer said. “So in a way I'm sad about that, but I'm really, really excited to be here now.

“It's like a new tournament... but at the same time it's nice to see innovation, it's nice to see growth in the game, and I hope that's exactly what's going to happen here.”

Federer fell in his opener last year to Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis. Suffice to say the fourth-seeded Swiss isn't looking past his second-round opponent, either Matthew Ebden or a qualifier.

“My focus has got to be doing better than last year,” Federer said. “I really have to make sure I do my upmost to get through that first [match] and hopefully catch momentum.”

If he makes the third round, he could meet countryman and friend Stan Wawrinka for the second time in as many tournaments.

"I prefer not to have him in my draw. I prefer to never have him in my section, but it is what it is," Federer said. "As a player, I think you always look at your first couple of rounds, so I know that there's a chance there and a possibility, so we'll see what's going to happen. But it's definitely not ideal that we're maybe going to play each other in back-to-back tournaments."

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