Third seed Roger Federer could not be more prepared going into Monday’s start at Wimbledon as the record-holding 16-time Grand Slam champion begins his campaign for a seventh career trophy at the grass court major.
The holder of the all-time mark of 16 majors could use a boost after winning his last slam two-and-a-half years ago at the Australian Open.
But after claiming four ATP trophies this season and posting another Roland Garros semifinal, the 30-year-old Swiss feels his game is exactly where he wants it to be.
“My confidence is very good, I’m not lacking matches, I’m match fit,” he said on Saturday as the countdown ticked into its final hours. “I’m match-tough right now. I think that’s also key going into a Grand Slam to be quite honest.”
“The hunger is obviously big; I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on that. I’ve explained many times how hungry and motivated I am to be playing, playing at this high level, wanting to win the big tournaments. This is obviously one of them.” Federer’s longevity and his relatively injury-free career will be on display as he plays the event for the 14th time, his 51st consecutive appearance at a Grand Slam. That leaves him with just five more to go to match the all-time run of South African Wayne Ferreira.
While history more than rankings now drives Federer, the Swiss cannot help but note that if he were to lift a seventh trophy at SW19 in a fortnight, he would vault past Rafael Nadal and take back the number one position from Novak Djokovic, last year’s champion.
“Trophies are what really get you going, but number one is a nice feeling. Every day when you wake up you know you’re the best at something. I’ve had that in the past and that felt great,” he said.
“While titles interest you the most at this moment, they go hand-in-hand with the ranking. We’re talking about the pinnacle of the sport.
“When you can win a lot of titles obviously you’re going to be high up in the rankings, and that’s obviously important for seeding and so forth.”
Federer, who begins play in the first round against Spain’s Albert Ramos, is fully aware that his rivals have played the last four Grand Slam finals.
But Federer would like to end that monopoly sooner rather than later. “Hopefully it’s my time of the year now or someone else’s — if it’s someone else, I hope it’s me, of course,” said Federer.
“There are exciting times ahead; I fancy my chances here and at the US Open. I’m very close to breaking (the Djokovic-Nadal duopoly). Hopefully I can make a run here at Wimbledon and see how it goes.”