Roger Federer has revealed that his brilliant run in 2017 has not come without its set of regrets, where he missed most of the clay tournaments in a bid to be fit for the grass courts later in the year, a move which paid off in valiant fashion.
The 36-year-old has won seven titles this year, including the Australian Open and a record eighth Wimbledon title to overtake Sampras' seven championship wins at SW19.
The 19-time men's singles Grand Slam winner came back from a six-month break in 2016 in spectacular fashion, when he won the Australian Open in January, the first grand slam he went on to win in over four years. After missing the French Open owing to injury problems, he fought back and went on to win the Wimbledon title, proving that he was still among the greats to rule the court.
Federer's biggest takeaway from 2017 was his ability to manage his fitness, which came with playing less games and choosing his tournaments intelligently. However, he has revealed that he regrets missing out on the majority of the clay tournaments. The number-three ranked player will end the year by participating in the ATP World Tour finals, where a potential final against Rafael Nadal is up for grabs.
"Not so much in the beginning, I just played to see how everything was going to be. Only later after winning in Australia, Indian Wells and Miami... We chose not to play clay right away because I needed a rest. I was tired and I had played a lot but I was very successful so it allowed me to take a bit of a breather," Federer said, as quoted by the Express, when asked if he had any regrets for 2017.
"Then I was supposed to return for a tournament on clay before the French Open but I never returned because I thought I might as well get ready for the grass court season for the second half of the season. It ended up paying off and I also had a strong finish to the season.
"I didn't plan out like this but everything ended up being good. I missed playing Cincinnati and some of the clay court season and being in tip-top shape for the US Open. Those are the regrets I have for the season but other than that it's been wonderful."