Federer says a star’s legacy isn’t at risk with late decline
Roger Federer arrives for his interview at the precise appointed time, steering his white sedan into a parking spot in an industrial area dotted by art galleries about 15 minutes from his luxury apartment in this home-away-from-home.
After obliging a selfie request from someone on the street, Federer makes his way up to a second-story loft area and sits. He crosses his legs, kneads his right calf and winces.
“Just started training. I’m surprised I could walk the stairs as good as I have,” Federer says with a laugh. “My calves are, like, killing me. Just getting back into it. The shock on the body is, I don’t want to say ‘immense,’ every time, but I’ve been on vacation for two weeks. The shock just hits you hard.”
Ah, the ravages of age.
Federer, who won the first of his men’s-record 20 Grand Slam titles when he was 21 and now is 38, explains to The Associated Press that he must “go back to the drawing board” after “just missing out on The Big One,” a reference to his fifth-set tiebreaker loss to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final in July. So all of just two days into Federer’s preparation for next season — he flies to Melbourne on Jan. 9, a week before the Australian Open draw — he is taking a 48-hour break, sitting out his two-a-day fitness sessions and not lifting a racket.
No one this old has won a Grand Slam title in the professional era.
As a younger man, Federer says, he didn’t allow himself such a respite, working six or eight days in a row to get going. But now? The “waves,” he calls them, making an undulating motion with his famous right arm — time on, then time off — offer his body a chance to recover. They also let him “go through the wall” on the day before a rest period, because “otherwise, you maybe would hold back just ever so slightly, because you just don’t know how you’re going to feel the next day.”……..read more
Source: AP News