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Federer's Wimbledon Going According To 'Plan'

Ten years ago, few would have predicted that a 35-year-old Roger Federer would be making a deep run into the second week of the 2017 Wimbledon. But, to Federer, this was all part of the plan.

Years ago, when the Swiss star was enjoying his first peak, Federer hoisted trophy after trophy but still kept an eye on longevity. He'd smile with another Gentleman's Singles Trophy and then take a month off from hitting. Or he'd dominate at the Nitto ATP Finals in London and then stay away from his racquet for weeks.

Roger Federer is one match away from playing for his eighth Wimbledon title.
“That was really important for me to look at the longevity aspect. Sometimes I was talking to the team and thinking it was too much time off almost, because I had all this momentum going for me, I would just throw it out of the window for longevity,” Federer said during the Australian Open earlier this year. “It's so nice to play when you're confident, because to get that kind of confidence after winning a Slam, [and then] not play anymore, it's a bit of a waste actually. You should be playing then because you could just keep playing with confidence. But I guess looking back overall, it was probably a good decision to take.”

Last year after Wimbledon, Federer opted for his most extended break yet, taking six months off to rest his knee and back. He made that decision with the biggest events, especially this year's Wimbledon, in mind.

“That was the idea, that the second week of Wimbledon is that I would feel my best. I feel like it's coming along nicely, to be quite honest,” Federer said after his quarter-final win against Milos Raonic, whom he lost to in last year's semi-final. “For me it worked out. It doesn't mean it's going to work out for everybody. But sometimes maybe the body and the mind do need a rest.”

Last year against Raonic, Federer was visibly bothered by his knee, falling to the Wimbledon lawn on one point and expressing worries about his the injury after the match. “I just I hope I didn't hurt myself... But I don't slip a lot. I don't ever fall down. It was a different fall for me than I've ever had,” Federer said a year ago.

This year, the right-hander glided around the grass against Raonic, striking 46 winners to only nine unforced errors. He advanced to his 12th Wimbledon semi-final after only one hour and 57 minutes.

“I'm much better prepared for Wimbledon this year than last year. Last year I had a hard, hard time practising through the clay-court season. The grass-court season was difficult because of the back issues I had and the knee issues. I was really lacking practice really,” Federer said. “Then the matches, I could never really play quite so freely last year just because I was more focused on how the knee's behaving rather than how I need to hit my forehand or backhand, or what's not going to be good for my opponent.

“This year I'm just a normal tennis player again where I can focus on tactics. I think that's the difference.”

On Friday, Federer will attempt to his reach his 11th Wimbledon final and 29th Grand Slam title match when he faces 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych. Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 18-6.

Should Federer win, he will become the second oldest man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon final after 39-year-old Ken Rosewall finished runner-up at the All England Club in 1974.

“I'm just very happy that I'm still doing so well. Am I surprised? Maybe a little bit,” Federer said. “But the plan was always to hopefully be strong later on in my career.”

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/federer-reaction-wimbledon-2017-thursday2

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