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Hungry Federer eyes grand slam titles in 2013

updated 12:05 PM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
  • Roger Federer would rather win more grand slams than return to No. 1 ranking
  • The Swiss has won 17 grand slam titles, -- more than any other male player in history
  • Federer has spent more weeks at world No. 1 than anyone else
  • The world No. 2 insists motivation is not a problem after 15 years as a professional

(CNN) -- Be warned Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray -- from here on in it's all about grand slam titles for Roger Federer.

The 31-year-old Federer has done it all in the world of tennis, winning more championships than any other male player in history and spending a record number of weeks at the top of the world rankings.

But as he approaches the twilight of his glittering career, the 17-time major winner is prioritizing adding to that record haul over returning to the No. 1 spot.

After clinching a record-equaling seventh Wimbledon singles title last year, the Swiss maestro occupied the top berth for a 287th week, breaking the previous record held by U.S. icon Pete Sampras.

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While admitting reaching No. 1 for the first time in 2004 was a special achievement, when asked by CNN's Leone Lakhani whether he would rather win grand titles or returning to the top, the current No. 2 replied: "At this stage in my career grand slam titles.

"Last year, to get back to world No. 1 was incredible, but I think it is really the first time you get there. You cannot match that up with any other moment, maybe in your career, because it's such a big thing.

"At this point in my career its titles. I've won a lot and I feel if I keep playing the way I am I can still achieve a bit more. So I guess its titles now."


Since turning professional 15 years ago, Federer has notched up a steady stream of records, but surpassing landmarks has never been something he has paid much attention to.

"I never had a 'to do' list," continued the 31-year-old Swiss player. "It's really the media who talk about it.

"When I was close to the all-time grand slam record or the all-time weeks at world No. 1, I was one week away, one slam away, of course you're going to push to try and beat that, but I never adjusted my schedule accordingly.

"I knew if I played well, records would fall along the way."


Despite his unparalleled success, in recent years Federer has seen his position as the reigning power in tennis taken by the all-conquering Djokovic.

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The Serb has won five of his six grand slam titles in the last two years, while world No. 3 Andy Murray has also risen to the top by winning his first major title as well as reaching the last three showpiece finals.

Read: McEnroe -- 'Attila the Hun' of tennis

It was Britain's Murray who eliminated Federer at the semifinal stage of last month's Australian Open, an event Djokovic won.

"I still have the hunger and the urge to achieve more, because I truly love this sport," added Federer. "That's the easiest part for me, the motivational part.

"I get a lot of questions asking how I do it, but for me it's pretty simple. I wake up in the morning excited to be a tennis player."


Despite his sporting ambition, Federer is very conscious of the importance of spending time with his wife and twin daughters.

"I'm working hard I'm training hard, but at the same time I'm making sure I have enough rest and family time," said the Swiss star.

"At my stage of my career, I need to make sure I get the balance right."

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