Federer A Gym Rat In Retirement? Sort Of…

  • Posted: Oct 13, 2023

Federer A Gym Rat In Retirement? Sort Of…

The Swiss icon checks tennis scores almost daily

After an illustrious 24-year career on the ATP Tour, how is Roger Federer adapting to life in his first 12 months away from the court? The 20-time major champion is relishing time with family and maintaining a busy schedule while also staying in shape and keeping tabs on the sport.

“I have tried to go to the gym four times a week, which I can’t believe I’m actually doing,” Federer said. “At home, I put some machines in that I got literally the week after the Laver Cup in London. So it was like after my career, I finally had a gym. A little bit weird to have it once I was retired, so now I have to use it. So I do that well. I don’t play so much tennis anymore so I have to be a little bit more careful what I eat and stuff. I’d still like to play some exhibitions down the road. So I want to stay in shape.

“I just do everything. Cardio, some weight training. Then more core exercises, a lot of that, which is also good for the back. You have to be careful. I think when you move less, the body hurts more. So I think moving a bit is always good. It makes me feel better for sure.”

Federer retired at last year’s Laver Cup, where in his final match he partnered longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. Despite not competing anymore, the Swiss remains close to the Tour.

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“I follow results almost daily. I like to see what’s going on out there,” Federer said in his extended interview with Ursin Caderas of ATP Media. “Mostly highlights, I maybe go on YouTube and check four or five minute highlights to get a bit of a feel for the match a bit more. It’s hard for me to sit through matches, just because I don’t have the time to be honest. With the children and all the stuff that’s going on in my life, it’s hard to say like, ‘Okay, on that day, I will watch that match.’

“Like the Wimbledon final, I literally only saw a couple games that day because we’re running around with the kids and doing stuff. Then at one point I quickly checked in just to say like ‘Okay, I saw the Wimbledon final a little bit.’ Of course I was curious, I was checking the scores from time to time, but for me to sit down is hard. I was happy that the match was as great as it was and I love when great stories come out of the game.”

A 103-time tour-level titlist, Federer was honoured Friday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where he was presented with an Icon Athlete Award in a ceremony that also featured home WTA legend Li Na and the No. 1 Chinese player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Zhang Zhizhen.

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Federer, who twice claimed the title in Shanghai (2014, 2017), has fond memories of playing at the Chinese ATP Masters 1000 event, including the fans’ unwavering support often displayed through gifts.

“In the past, I usually had one suitcase full of stuff I would usually take back because sometimes we [received] these paintings and all these things that take loads of space,” Federer said.

“They can wait for you anywhere. At the club, at the hotel, in the basement of the hotel. They’re everywhere and they don’t mind waiting. I will never forget when I was here the first few times, I would not come out of the hotel until 4 p.m. and Mirka would go out and grab coffee and she would tell them, ‘Roger is not going to be here until 4 p.m., so you don’t have to wait in front of the hotel.’ They’re like, ‘No, no, no, he’s only here once a year so we’re happy to wait!’
They would wait and wait so I think the following here is pretty cult like and it’s very intense.”

The Shanghai fans even sent Federer off with songs as he left Asia following a disappointing early exit in 2015.

“I will never forget when I lost first [match], everybody was super sad from my team, my fans, the tournament,” Federer said. ‘Everybody was like, ‘What a pity you came here all this way lose first round.’ I went straight to the airport and there must have been like 100 people at the airport all waiting for me and singing a song like, ‘We hope to see you next year, we hope to see you again!’ and like tears in their eyes. So I think there’s been a really special connection with the Chinese fans over here.”

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