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23 April 2024

Fed wants enjoyment

Federer wants to enjoy this year. (GETTY IMAGES) 

By Gary Meenaghan

World No2 Roger Federer, despite suffering defeat to Andy Murray, walked off the court at the International Tennis Complex with a smile on his face.

The world No2 had been dispatched by the Scot 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (6-8) in the semi-finals of the Capitala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, his fifth defeat to the Scotsman and his first of the New Year.

But the Swiss, who struggled in 2008 and lost his world No1 ranking to rival Rafael Nadal, said he wouldn't care if he suffered "a few losses more" in the future and is just happy to be having fun.

"I need the right balance to be a happy person," said Federer, who will travel to Doha next week in preparation for the Australian Open, which gets under way on January 19. "At this moment, I think I've got that balance: two weeks off, two weeks practice and now some match-playing. This is when the fun starts.

"Last year was a crazy schedule, but this is not going to happen this year. I will be able to play when I want. I wouldn't say the world No1 [ranking] ranks above everything.

"I don't even care if I have a few losses more. The press and everybody goes crazy and hype it up, but for me it's about enjoying the sport and playing when I want to."

Federer, who has earned more than $40m (Dh126.4m) in career winnings, is also aware he is just one Grand Slam away from equalling Pete Sampras' 14 Slam wins.

"I am very close to some big records and while that's not the only reason I am playing, it's part of the reason that keeps me very motivated obviously," said the 27-year-old. "I don't want it to be in the front of my mind all the time, thinking 'I just need one more, I just need two more. I need to be No1 again'. That's not the fun part. The fun part is doing this, going out in front of a fun crowd and playing great points."

Meanwhile, World No1 Rafael Nadal beat Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-3 in the other semi-final.

FA cup Third round fixtures


Arsenal v Plymouth
Birmingham v Wolverhampton
Cardiff v Reading
Charlton v Norwich
Chelsea v Southend
Cheltenham v Doncaster
Coventry v Kidderminster
Forest Green v Derby
Hartlepool v Stoke
Histon v Swansea
Hull v Newcastle
Ipswich v Droylsden
Kettering v Eastwood Town
Leicester v Crystal Palace
Leyton Orient v Sheffield United
Macclesfield v Everton
Manchester City v Nottingham Forest
Middlesbrough v Barrow
Millwall v Crewe
Portsmouth v Bristol City
Preston v Liverpool
Queens Park Rangers v Burnley
Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham
Sunderland v Bolton
Torquay v Blackpool
Watford v Scunthorpe
West Bromwich Albion v Peterborough


Gillingham v Aston Villa
Southampton v Man United