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Federer sets goal of 20 Grand Slam titles
LONDON (AP) - Roger Federer wants to win at least 20 Grand Slam titles before he retires.
The 29-year-old Swiss player earned his 16th title with a victory at the Australian Open this year. But he failed to get beyond the quarterfinals at the French Open and Wimbledon. He’s dropped to No. 3 in the rankings, his lowest position since November 2003.
However, Federer told the BBC that winning 20 majors is a realistic goal.
“I believe that having won three Grand Slams per season three times, and two per year a couple of times, it’s something doable for me,” he said. “I only play 16-20 tournaments per year, so I’m not overplaying, and that keeps the fire burning.”
But his aura of invincibility has faded in recent months. He has not won a title since the Australian Open, and his quarterfinal loss to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon marked the first time he failed to make the final at the All England Club since 2002.
Federer, who is married with 1-year-old twin daughters, denied his motivation had waned.
“I’m giving 100 percent for each and every tournament that I play because I don’t play a ton of tournaments,” he said in the BBC interview. “Tournaments like Toronto this week and Cincinnati next week are important to me, too. The motivation is huge for the next few years. And obviously if I can win Grand Slams that’s fantastic, but they are not the only motivation over the next few years.”
Federer admits that his body requires more time to recover between tournaments.
“Being a teenager is different to being 23, and being 23 is very different to say being 28. Today, I know my body better than ever,” Federer said. “Some things take a little bit longer to recover from with age, but I can prevent more problems by doing a lot more stretching, physical work, practice, massages. I’m doing everything much more professionally today than I ever have before.
“There’s no denying that I’ve played almost a thousand matches in my life, and that obviously has a big wear and tear on your body, too. So you have to be a little bit more careful.”
He’ll aim for his 17th Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 30.
By John R. Bolton
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