Family first for Federer these days

Blissfully happy off court and still No.1 on it, Roger Federer has no plans on retiring any time soon.

His defeats are so rare that seemingly after each and every one, Federer is asked when is enough enough?

But even if he admits Father Time may be catching up and that winning these days is never enough, Federer the family man plans on sticking around for some time yet.

Despite his shock US Open quarter-final loss to Tomas Berdych, Federer is assured of retaining the top ranking from arch rival Novak Djokovic for a few more weeks at least.

His loss to Berdych was only his seventh defeat since falling to Djokovic last year at Flushing Meadows in a heartbreaker that sparked the Swiss great’s remarkable renaissance.

So-called Super Saturday in New York marks exactly one year since he blew a two-set lead and two match points in the semi-finals against Djokovic and he concedes the loss cut deep.

“There have been a lot of questions asked,” the 31-year-old said.

“Like, how much more will I take? Is the end near? Is it much nearer than you think it is?

“All those questions, eventually it can play tricks on your mind. But I never really let it affect me.

“I knew I was looking at the big picture and honestly having big-picture goals and also the short-term goals is very important for me.

“So regardless of what happens, I’m in a safe place.”

Rebounding in spectacular fashion, Federer won a tour-best nine titles, including the 2011 season-ending championship, and 77 matches out of 84 in the 12 months after losing to Djokovic.

But it wasn’t until landing a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon crown that he finally wrestled the top ranking back from the Serb.

The Wimbledon triumph broke a two-and-a-half-year grand slam title drought and Federer suspects the doubters under-estimated how the birth of his identical twin daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva in July 2009 affected his career “in a big way”.

“I thought sometimes people kind of forgot I had the kids,” he said this week.

“It actually has a big effect on a player, on practice, on matches, even though I think I handled it as well as I could.

“But I’m sure at times you are just that little bit more exhausted than other players, so that might be a reason as well (why) sometimes you just don’t win as much any more.

“But who cares? I don’t care really. I want to be happy in my personal life and, if I’m happy on the tennis court and I win a bit less, that’s fine too.”

As hungry as he is for more on-court successes, the 17-times major winner says family comes first these days and any titles are a bonus.

“I try everything I can so the kids are happy and if my wife’s happy and we’re having a great time,” Federer said.

“Then when the success comes at the same time, then it couldn’t be more perfect.

“So we’re having really a blast out on tour and the kids seem to really enjoy going to different places every other week.

“Now it’s getting easier too. I have to say the first couple of years were pretty rough and now it’s getting much nicer.”

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