Federer: The secret to staying healthy


Originally published on: 15/05/12 00:00

Roger Federer returned to No.2 for the first time since March 2011 this week after claiming a record-equalling 20th Masters 1000 title on the blue clay in Madrid. He may be 30, but the Swiss has firmly set his sights on returning to the top of the ATP ladder  – he’s currently 1,770 points behind Novak Djokovic who has a bucket load of points to defend this summer – with the goal of beating Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 286 weeks at No. 1. 

As ruthless as ever on the court almost nine years after winning his first Wimbledon title, the 16-time Grand Slam champion told us the secret to his longevity in the game earlier this year:

“[It's] understanding my plan," he said. "How much to play, when to rest, when to practice, how much is good. Have I made many mistakes? Yes, I’m sure I’ve made tonnes of mistakes throughout my career but I’ve also made many right choices. For me a key thing in my life [is] to understand my body and listen to the signs of my body.

“I’ve never given up once I’ve entered the tennis court so that also shows that I can play with a lot of pain. I think managing my schedule has been very important for me. Also, the equipment, the way I play is not so brutal maybe like other players. I’m very fluid in my motions. I’m not completely uptight when I’m playing. My muscles are actually quite relaxed inbetween – when I’m running to a shot – but there is the intensity of pushing for every single point. I’ve done many things the right way but I’ve also been lucky and fortunate at times.” 

Federer by numbers

20 – Masters 1000 titles. The same tally as Rafael Nadal

74 – His ATP title haul

189 – The number of matches he has lost on the ATP Tour

285 – The number of weeks he spent at No.1. One week shy of Pete Sampras

325 – The number of points he lies ahead of world No.3 Rafael Nadal in the ATP ladder

835 – The total number of wins he has amassed on the ATP Tour

70,512,279 – His career prize money, at last count

Federer spoke to us in the April 2012 edition of tennishead magazine. To read the article, why not subscribe.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.