Federer keen to return to winning ways at Indian Wells

March 15th, 2008 - 2:15 pm ICT by admin  

Indian Wells (California), March 15 (DPA) World number one Roger Federer is eager to resume his role as a tennis dominator after recovering from the mysterious mononucleosis virus, which affected his performance in the recent months. The 26-year old Swiss feels that the time is right to step up his game after an unexpected early-season lull with a storming performance at the Indian Wells Masters.

Federer, following his first round exit at the hands of world No.9 Andy Murray of Britain in the Dubai Open earlier this month and a semifinal loss to Serb Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open in January, is yet to lift a title this season, his slowest start since 1999.

But dual defeats this season have certainly not broken Federer’s spirit. The Swiss top seed with a dozen Grand Slam singles titles displays his characteristic calm as he prepares to get his game back into top gear.

“I don’t feel much pressure, like I can’t walk anymore,” he joked Friday. “I’m always very relaxed.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s before finals or before a first round, every match is difficult. First round match in any tournament is always a tough hurdle, and you just want to get through that point,” he said.

Federer will play his opening match against either Argentine Sergio Roitman or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.

However Federer, winner of the Indian Wells title in 2004 and 2006 admits that some of the emphasis has shifted at this edition to defending champion Rafael Nadal and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

“I’m just trying to play well again. For them it’s different, because they have their own tough draw and maybe they’re together in one section.

“I don’t think it’s a particular pressure because I lost early (opening match to Guillernmo Canas) last year and they won. I don’t see it this way, really,” he said.

“My focus is really to start playing some matches again. The really important part of the season for me is to play well from here till the US Open. I’m going to be playing every second week at least, if not back-to-back, and this is really where my focus is at the moment.”

Federer drew a crowd of hundreds as he trained a day earlier with American James Blake.

“The only thing missing is matches. I’m not focusing on the number one position, I just want to win matches again,” he said.

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