Roger Federer has revealed that his relationship with tennis has changed over the years as he has become calmer while appreciating the more important facets of the game such as winning. Earlier, he would be ecstatic at the prospect of sharing the court with the legends of the game, but as he progressed through the years, he has learnt to appreciate it further for its finer tenets.
The 36-year-old accumulated a total of seven ATP titles in the year and is well on course for his eighth, having made his way to the semi-finals of the ATP World Finals with a win in straight sets over Marin Cilic. It was a dead rubber for the 19-time Grand Slam winner as he had already made his way into the knockouts after the second game.
He will now face David Goffin for a place in the finals, a game which could have been so different had Rafael Nadal not withdrawn citing a knee injury, having lost his first game of the tournament to the Belgian. The Swiss veteran is chasing a seventh World Tour finals title, but last lifted the trophy in 2011.
Federer had to relinquish the world number one title to Nadal who confirmed his position for the end of the year by progressing into the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters.
"In the beginning it was like being a kid in a candy store, sharing the locker room with legends of the game, seeing them prepare, being able to practise with them, playing doubles with or against them," Federer said, as quoted by the Express. "I'm very calm. But there's a deeper understanding of what I'm going through.
"So maybe the satisfaction is when I do win and I do show up at the best tournaments in the world, like here, I know it's not normal maybe to be here, so I appreciate it actually maybe even more so now at this age."