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Roger Federer: 'I don't think I need tennis - it's not my entire identity'

Roger Federer says he will only continue to fight for his future in tennis as long as it brings success: "I know a professional career can’t last forever and that’s okay.”
Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Roger Federer says he wants to return to tennis and be successful again on court, but he no longer feels like he 'needs' it.

Federer is planning on playing the Laver Cup in September after a long battle with a knee injury that has required three operations to date.

Considering he will be 42-years-old by the time he gets back on a court again, he knows that he may be looking at a life without tennis now, but he says that no longer scares him.

“I love to win, but if you’re not competitive any more, then it’s better to stop,” he told the Algemeen Dagblad.

“I don’t think I need the tennis. I am happy with the little things, like when my son does something right and when my daughter comes home with a good grade.

“Tennis is part of, but not my entire identity. I want to be and remain successful, and put a lot of energy into business – probably give more than I should sometimes, but that can also be done outside of sports. I know a professional career can’t last forever and that’s okay.”

Aside from one short and unsuccessful comeback attempt last summer, Roger Federer has not played any tennis for nearly two-and-a-half years now.

While that has been frustrating for both him and his legions of fans, he says it has at least given him a chance to live his life a little instead.

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“It gave me the opportunity to selectively sort out my travels and give something back,” he revealed. “Many friends always came to see me, now I could turn it around.

“The tennis itinerary was sometimes excessive, especially with having to organise that for the children too. It’s nice to have a break from that now, and for them too, although they miss the travelling.

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“We have friends all over the world and have developed routines for them as well. We haven’t seen our friends in New York and Melbourne for a few years now.

“But I can honestly say that I am very happy at home. And that it is a great advantage that I can now make an appointment for a Tuesday morning in three weeks. And that I can actually do it without reality overtaking me.

"At times we miss travelling the world, and of course I also miss the sport, but also feel: life at home in a, let’s say, normal way, is also good.”

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