Roger Federer says he can go into the rest of the 2017 season with no pressure after making a dream start which has seen him win three of the four tournaments he has entered.
The Swiss ace surprised himself and others when he made the final of the Australian Open in January despite it being his first ranking tournament in six months. Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title in Melbourne and backed that up with titles at the BNP Paribas Masters and the Miami Masters to rise from number 17 in the world to number four in less than three months.
The 35-year-old suffered a knee injury in 2016 and after undergoing surgery, Federer decided to end his season in July following his loss in the semi-finals at Wimbledon. He made a comeback at the start of the year, but was not expecting it be his best start since 2006.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion is tipped to get back to the top of the ATP rankings, but made it clear that staying fit and peaking at major tournaments is his main goal in 2017. After a strong start, Federer has announced a 10-week break and will miss the upcoming clay court tournaments in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome before returning for the French Open. He is keen to remain fresh for the grass court tournaments after Roland Garros, with the title at Wimbledon being his next main target of the season.
"I can play very free, nothing to lose, because I had much success at the early start of the year that I never thought I would have," Federer said, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
"I probably did a lot of right things at the end of last year when I trained really hard. I needed to take a break off, my knee wasn't well and when I came back it was an absolute dream, I couldn't believe it and I am just hoping that now with the break I am going to take during the clay-courts season that's going to be a beneficial moving.
"I've high hopes for the grass-court season, I think it's going to be quite exciting because that's my big goal for the next few months now, to actually get ready for the grass and play my best," the former world number one explained.