Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Roger Federer on 'bonus' time

updated 12:42 PM EDT, Fri October 18, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roger Federer says he has been on a "bonus trip for a long, long time"
  • Federer still has drive but insists if his career ended tomorrow he would be "very happy"
  • Andy Murray offers no guarantees that he will play at next year's Australian Open
  • World No. 1 Rafael Nadal pulls out of the Basel Indoors in Switzerland as a precaution

(CNN) -- Most of Roger Federer's career has been free of turmoil.

The talented Swiss has collected a men's record 17 majors, his all-court game and flawless footwork overcoming rivals with ease.

From 2004 to 2007, he won 11 of a possible 16 grand slam titles. His record of consecutive semifinals at majors might never be broken and, if Federer plays in January's Australian Open, he'll take part in a 57th consecutive grand slam event. That would be another men's record.

You'd need a book to list all of his achievements.

But 2013 has been challenging, not entirely surprising since Federer turned 32 in August and must contend with the younger trio of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

He slipped to seventh in the world rankings, didn't appear in a grand slam final for the first time since 2002 and is in danger of missing out on the year-end championships next month in London.

Roger Federer on Asia's tennis craze
Wawrinka ready for singles success
Federer targets more grand slam titles

Read: Federer exits in Shanghai

How does Federer view his skid? With a fair dose of perspective.

Racking up all those titles earlier in his career has left him feeling that he's now on "bonus" time.

"I knew those wins nobody could take away from me," Federer told CNN. "That's sort of in the vault, good to have and good to know.

"And now you just have to prove yourself every single day and everything that comes is like a bonus. I've been on this bonus trip for a long, long time and playing this way has actually been much more enjoyable."

Does it mean that Federer will settle for not winning another major? Probably not.

His decision to cut ties with coach Paul Annacone last week suggests he's still hungry for more.

Indeed motivation has never been an issue for Federer, even when he and wife Mirka had twin girls.

"I definitely have that drive," he said.

But Federer does admit that the questions asked about his recent slide have slightly taken away from his enjoyment of the game.

"The fun goes away sometimes because instead of it being a lifelong dream you've had to just enjoy yourself and play tennis like your heroes used to, now people sort of expect you to win," Federer said.

"Like losing in the quarterfinals ... now is (seen as) a disaster. It changes the mindset of you as a player and as a professional athlete and that's where I always try to remember, 'Well, as long as I enjoy what I'm doing, I train hard, I have no regrets.'

"All I can do is give my best and it's going to be fine regardless of the outcome."

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon men's final
Ivan Lendl on managing Andy Murray
Secret to beating tennis' big four

Murray unsure of Oz, Nadal skips Basel

Murray, recovering from back surgery, told reporters that he would only compete at the Australian Open in January if he was fully fit.

He has rehabilitated in the pool and on a bike but will wait until four or five weeks to hit balls on a tennis court. As such, he won't play at the year-end championships on home soil.

"The rehab process is pretty tedious and long and I don't want to come back too soon and have to start that process all over again," Wimbledon champion Murray, who received a royal honor at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, said. "I'll only come back when I'm 100% fit and I hope that's at the beginning of the year."

Nadal, meanwhile, pulled out of next week's Swiss Indoors in Basel due to fatigue.

"After very exhausting weeks I have to regroup my fitness and my body," the world No. 1 posted on his Facebook page. "I will do my best to come back to the Swiss Indoors next year."

Nadal's remaining tournaments this year are the Paris Masters and year-end championships, two events he has never won.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:08 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
updated 8:42 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
updated 12:16 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT