In an interview to The New York Times Roger Federer commented on how his mindset has turned over the beginning of his career. The Swiss said: “I started to feel uncomfortable after a while when you are on TV like this, and I’d see the highlights.
You throw the racket in the corner and you are so frustrated and disappointed, and it’s just a bad look. And I said: ‘It just looks stupid and silly. Let’s get your act together a little bit.’ It took me a long time, but it was interesting.
Instead of telling them, ‘Buddy, clean it up!’. I’m happy the guy shows it. I don’t want to see robots all around. I don’t want to see the 18-year-old guy like super, super composed already. When you have a guy who is finally a little lively, let him be and then eventually he will channel it anyway”.
On why he won just one French Open title, Federer added: “The problem was Rafa came alive, and Rafa was Rafa." “Already back in 2004, when I became world No. 1, that was my mindset. I made the decision early, and I think that’s why I am still here today.
I never fell out of love with the sport”. “Maybe where my talent has helped me a little bit is to shape and get the technique I have today that puts maybe less wear and tear on me. But I think I’ve earned it with my schedule and my buildup and maybe my mental side of the game as well.
As much as I take things very seriously, I am very laid back, so I can really let go very quickly. I truly believe this is a secret for a lot of the players and for the young guys is to be able, when you leave the site, to say: ‘O.K., I’m going to leave it behind.
I still know I’m a professional tennis player, but I’m relaxing. I’m doing it my way, whatever helps me decompress.’ Because if you are constantly like this. That’s when you burn out”.