Roger Federer has just announced that he plans to take a two month break following the Indian Wells tournament in March to spend time with his family and prepare for the clay court season.
I’ve previously talked about planning ahead like the pros and this also needs to be done with your own context and ability in mind. In Federer’s case, at the age of 31, he recognises that he can no longer play 20 or more tournaments a season and expect to maintain the high standards that he has achieved previously. Instead he’s playing less and aiming to be prepared for the tournaments he’s playing. Rumour has it that he’s targeting regaining the world number one ranking, in a recent interview he said:
“My big focus is on making sure that every tournament I enter I am perfectly prepared. I am hopeful I will get enough matches but if not my schedule can be changed.”
“I strongly believe I have more Slams in me,” he said. “Which Slam do I favour – does Wimbledon over-weigh the rest? Maybe…”
Clearly he’d love to win more slams and his game does suit grass, however, targeting the right tournaments and preparing well may well get him back up there. Missing Miami (after Indian Wells) is not such a big deal for Federer, after a brilliant start to last year he lost relatively early in Miami, so does not have a lot of points to defend. He will come back in Madrid in May and it will be interesting to see how he performs, as he won it last year – so, as always, preparation is the key.
So it will be interesting to see how this strategy works for Federer – what will happen in Madrid come May and at Wimbledon in the summer?
Sometimes we need longer breaks from time to time, not always easy in the demanding world of work but the more you are aware of your own energy and the ups and downs the better you can manage your overall performance.