Men’s Draw | Roger Federer

Healthy Roger Federer still working, winning

 
 
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Not letting up:</span> Roger Federer, 32, and the father of twins with another child on the way, practices on Tuesday in preparation for his match Friday.
Not letting up: Roger Federer, 32, and the father of twins with another child on the way, practices on Tuesday in preparation for his match Friday.
David Santiago / Staff Photo

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

Eight years have passed since Roger Federer hoisted the Sony Open championship trophy on Key Biscayne.

But don’t call him an old-timer.

At 32, the ever-popular, genteel Federer is not nearly among the youngest at the Sony Open, but he is once again among the highest ranked — No. 5 after an exceptional 19-3 start to 2014.

The Swiss father of twin daughters is expecting a third child at an unspecified date and will face World No. 53 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia — also a dad and at 35 the second-oldest Sony men’s player — in a match at 4 p.m. Friday on Stadium Court.

When Federer was told by a reporter Thursday that there will be a point, “no matter how healthy your body is,” when he inevitably would not be great anymore, he made it clear that the “inevitable” wouldn’t necessarily occur for several years.

“I don’t quite agree with you that the body inevitably has to give in,” he said, noting that avoiding “overtraining” and “overplaying” are instrumental in longevity. “Clearly, if you’re playing tennis at 50 years old, sure it’s a different story.

“But nobody wants to play till 50. You want to go play doubles with your friends and not be ridiculous on center court.

“It’s about, What does your mind say? … Where is your life at? … Because you want to do it as long as you want to and as long as you really enjoy it. I guess part of it is also [that] being a little bit successful helps in the process.”

A lot more than just “a little bit successful,” in Federer’s case, would be accurate.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion has finished among the top 6 every year since 2002, ending 2009 and 2004-07 at No. 1.

He won the Sony in 2005 and ’06.

Last year, Federer injured his back at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and took several weeks off — including during the Sony Open. Since January, he has finished no worse than as a semifinalist in his four tournaments. He lost in the final to Lleyton Hewitt in Brisbane, Australia; to World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in an Australian Open semifinal; to No. 2 Novak Djokovic on Sunday in the Indian Wells final; and won Dubai by defeating Djokovic and Tomas Berdych back to back.

“But as you know, you have to keep on working and trying hard,” he said. “Every tournament it starts from scratch.”

Hewitt, an Australian who turned 33 on Feb. 24 and won his 600th career match Thursday, praised his peer.

“Roger, what he’s done and the way that he competes still at his age and pushes the best guys in the world week in and week out, and [with] the pressure that is on him. … He’s a target every week. He’s remarkable.”

Federer announced on Twitter in December that his 4-year-old daughters Myla and Charlene “will be big sisters in 2014!”

On Thursday, he said he didn’t know whether the next baby’s birth would affect his schedule.

“We’ll see. It’s clearly a top priority for me, being there and being supportive at one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” he said. “That’s why I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world.

“After that I will go back on tour when the time is right. We’ll figure it out.”

So, when is the due date?

“Only my wife knows,” he said, grinning. “If I knew, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Read more Tennis stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Dudi Sela, of Israel, returns the ball to Leonardo Mayer, of Argentina, during a Davis Cup tennis match in Sunrise, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014.

    Tennis | Davis Cup World Group: Argentina 3, Israel 2

    Argentina rallies past Israel for Davis Cup win in Sunrise

    When it was all over, when the fifth and deciding match was finally clinched on a sweltering Sunday afternoon in Sunrise, it was the Argentine team — not the “host’’ Israelis — jumping up and down celebrating, dumping Gatorade on each other, and dancing with their high-energy fans, who sang their lungs out all weekend long.

  • Lisicki tops Pliskova for Hong Kong crown

    Sabine Lisicki beat Karolina Pliskova in straight sets Sunday to win the inaugural Hong Kong Open.

  • India-Serbia Davis Cup playoff level at 2-2

    The Davis Cup World Group playoff between Serbia and India will be decided on Monday after the fifth and decisive singles match was suspended because of rain.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category