Amidst, all those rumors about Roger Federer deciding to skip Swiss Indoors, Basel 2013, Roger Federer in an exclusive interview to Rene Stauffer (the world renowned author of Roger Federer's autobiography "Quest for Perfection"), Federer clarified that he will be playing at Swiss Indoors, Basel 2013 without any contract. He plays Basel because of the love for Fans & his love for Basel.
Also, Federer talked about his back issues and his training schedules and if playing in more tournaments was an option for him as his current Race to London (Year to date) Ranking is currently 8th. Also, Federer talked about having to miss tournaments in Asia and Bercy Masters (Paris) 2013 because of his commitment to play at Swiss Indoors, Basel.
The interview in German was posted in Tagesanzeiger & you can read the full German interview here.
Here is our English translated interview (not a word by word translation but best effort has been made to cover every sentence to make it as meaningful as possible)
Rene Stauffer (RS): You are in the midst of a nearly two-month break from competition. What do you do in this time?
Roger Federer (RF) : First, I recovered from the tournaments in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells. I had a short vacation, but after nine days I began to work again. Three weeks I did not do nothing. I am back after a long time back in Switzerland & doing physical training, also I am practicing tennis again.
RS: Despite the bad weather, how right is to practice in Switzerland, just before the clay season?
RF: Because I have been working on a lot of fitness, the weather was not a big problem for me. So far I have played twice in a balloon shed on sand (clay court) & also practiced on hard courts.
That is why I am pleased that it is getting warmer on the weekend, then I can start out to train hard. Over the next few weeks, the training is going to get more intense. Would be important for me before the tournament in Madrid (from May 5) that there are good training conditions for the last two weeks. Then it would be especially nice that the weather holds.
Picture of Roger Federer practicing across the mountains in Zurich
RS: How is your back, in Indian Wells it did handicap you, especially in the quarter-final against Rafael Nadal?
RF: I am satisfied, can do anything again. But it went longer than I had thought. I am glad that I am now back in training and can also play tennis. Indian Wells everything went so very fast. I could not get enough rest after the match against Wawrinka, and against a player like Nadal, I can not win in such a condition, I do not know what percentage I was fit. I just wanted to try it. The break came at the right moment.
RS: Staying in Switzerland until the start of the clay season?
RF: Exactly. Severin (Luthi) has contact with several players that are here to practice (with me). I am glad that I can perform this preparation in Switzerland. Later, Paul (Annacone) will be here in the phase in which I play four or five hours a day tennis.
RS : You have been here in Switzerland for the past 3 weeks. Enjoying your time in Switzerland?
RF: Absolutely. I have missed Switzerland in recent years. It's also nice to enjoy little time with nature, to be here to meet up with friends and family.
I could calm down a bit from the stress of everyday life on the tour & felt normal. 2012 was particularly stressful because of the Olympics. I really enjoyed the last few weeks, even if the weather was bad.
RS: On Wednesday, the next Davis Cup opponents (for World Group Play off) of Switzerland will be known. Will you be available to play in September?
Federer : We must take it as it comes. Whether I will be there, I do not know. There is still a lot of time for that.
Rene Stauffer : Another question is whether you are playing in autumn in Basel after your contract has expired (in 2012)?
Federer : Was always clear to me: I will play the Swiss Indoors 2013. I've not communicated (it to all), but now the time has come.
I've always played in Basel, in all the years when I was not hurt. Everyone knows how much this means to me, the tournament, and that's always the case. I've been there a ball boy, who once played in the qualifiers, even as a junior got a chance to play (against the legendary) Andre Agassi. I have experienced many memorable moments in this unique atmosphere with great fans, and I am extremely happy that to be able to experience this year.
Stauffer : So now it has been an agreement(contract) between the Swiss Indoors and you?
Federer : No, but that was not necessary. I can play in Basel without any contracts or agreements and I am doing it. To compete on home soil, is very special for me because I'm on the road all year. I do not want to miss this chance.
Stauffer : There was much discussion about the negotiations between you and tournament chief Roger Brennwald, rumors and speculation, it was also much talk of money. And now you just play that?
Federer : For this I really want to add further, because otherwise it just might be misunderstood again. I never said that I will not play in Basel. And now I'm trying to simplify this complicated thing.
Stauffer : Does that mean that you will skip this Paris-Bercy Masters 2013 again (like in 2012)?
Federer : There are many tournaments I've often missed because of the Swiss Indoors, this is nothing new. Although I also would like to go to Asia or Paris, but you have to set priorities, and Basel has always been one of my priorities.
Stauffer : In this year Race to London 2013 rankings, you are at unaccustomed No 8. Have you thought coming back early to play more tournaments (like Monte Carlo Masters 2013)?
Federer :: I've actually considered it. But I have also always said that this year the training and recovery will be my main priority, and I want to go this route.
What I save on energy today, I can invest later. In the spare time in which you do not play, you can always fill your reserve tank, I've noticed this over the years. Moreover, I find that I have not played so badly.
In Australia I was good, Rotterdam (Off against Benneteau), was disappointing in Dubai I lost in the semi-final (against Berdych after having a match point), and who knows what would have happened. This phase one of the season should not be over-analyzed. And now I'm preparing to do better in the coming months.