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Focussed Federer the master of routine

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Originally published on: 03/03/12 10:21

You would have thought that globe-trotting tennis players would cherish the opportunities they have to sleep in their own beds. Roger Federer, however, chooses to stay in a hotel even when he is playing in tournaments in Basel and Dubai, despite having a house and an apartment respectively in the two cities.
 
During this week’s Dubai Duty Free Championships, in which he meets Andy Murray in today’s final, Federer has been staying in a hotel not far from his apartment. “I think I’ve stayed at the hotel here for a number of years now,” Federer said after his semi-final victory over Juan Martin del Potro. “I just think you have to stay in the routine that you have, otherwise it kind of plays with your mind.”
 
He added: “I don’t mind the hotel life. Obviously it’s a nice one here.  But it helps the focus, just having everything every week like this. Then obviously Wimbledon changes – and that’s where it’s tricky. You want to try to make that work when you’re renting a house, which is completely different again in itself. But I’ve always done that over all these years at Wimbledon, so that feels sort of natural too.”
 
Federer pointed out that he also stayed in a hotel at the Olympic Games in Beijing four years ago. Whereas many tennis players chose to stay in the athletes’ village, enjoying the chance to rub shoulders with competitors from other sports, the Swiss (who had met his future wife Mirka at the Olympic village in Sydney in 2000) decided not to.
 
At the time Federer said he had opted for a hotel because so many fellow sportsmen and women had been stopping him in the athletes’ village asking for autographs. “It’s impossible really [to stay in the village]” he said. “There are so many athletes asking for photos and so on. It is not ideal to prepare.”

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