Federer: I’ve become more human (Australian Open Notebook)

January 20th, 2009 - 1:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 20 (DPA) Even ice-calm Roger Federer admits that his stress levels have eased in recent months as he slipped from tennis’ top ranking.Still ranked second, the Swiss star said that he feels an eerie calm as he pursues a fourth title in six years at the Australian Open.

“Maybe I’m a bit more relaxed,” he said after passing the first round against Italy’s Andreas Seppi. “When you’re number one you put your head down, you try to win as many tournaments as possible.”

He admitted: “Maybe sometimes you forget to enjoy it as much as you can, because everything happens so quickly.”

While he’s not about to give up his quest to replace Rafael Nadal atop the ATP rankings, Federer said he has come to appreciate the slight dialling down of the tension level at his current position.

“It’s nice time to be number one, having everybody talking about you. But I’m getting older. I’m enjoying myself more. I still love the travelling. I love competing out on centre court. Those are good feelings,” he said.

“But maybe today, after a tough year, sometimes you can show more because you’ve been through a tough time. I show maybe a bit more emotions, a bit more happiness, which maybe people didn’t see before.”


Roddick vote of confidence for new ATP boss

Melbourne: Andy Roddick says he’s impressed with new ATP boss Adam Helfant, after meeting his fellow American at the Australian Open.

“I actually was lucky enough to have dinner with him the other night. I was pretty impressed,” said Roddick. “He didn’t come in with kind of this braggadocio attitude of what he’s done, whatever. He kind of came in and he had his notepad and his pen, and he asked questions, and he wrote down notes. He didn’t come in like a know-it-all.”

Helfant is new to tennis, having previously negotiated contracts for Nike, which brought him into contact with the elite world of major players including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Critics fear that the newly chosen executive will face a steep learning curve to get a true grounding in the game. None of that bothers Roddick.

“It was an impressive meeting, that’s for sure,” he said. “After the meeting, I was glad that they had chosen him.”

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