Fighting-fit Federer makes special stopover on way to Shanghai
Last Thursday, tennis great Roger Federer paid a brief visit to Hong Kong before on his way to play in the Shanghai Masters. The 16-time grand slam winner was in town to serve his role a global ambassador with Credit Suisse.
During his one-day stay, Federer visited mentally challenged students of the Nesbitt Centre for a tennis coaching session and spoke to the media for about 40 minutes about his upcoming playing season.
Federer said he had completely recovered from injuries that had plagued him in recent months and had been training hard for the past three weeks in France. 'I feel fresh, both physically and mentally. I hope I can play well and win in Shanghai,' he said.
Currently holding the world number three spot, Federer is in no rush to reclaim the spot he had held for a total of 285 weeks previously.
'I am not thinking about getting back to number one right now. That is not the top priority,' he said. 'I will try to win as many games as possible and focus on playing well. When I am in good shape I am able to beat anyone, I can even dominate.'
Support from fans, he said, is the main driving force to make him work harder: 'When I go into a packed stadium with fans cheering on, it makes me want to achieve more. I am always looking for ways to improve my game.'
Speaking of his rivalry with current world number one Rafael Nadal, Federer says: 'He has won the last three grand slams and is the best player in the world right now. He is doing great and he certainly deserves to be the number one player. He is a tough guy to beat.'
Federer said one of the best moments in his career was winning the gold medal in doubles at the Beijing Olympics: 'I still look back and it sends shivers down my spine hearing the national anthem. I am certainly looking ahead to play in the 2012 London Olympics.'