Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Roger Federer is 30 years old and hasn’t won a Grand Slam singles title since the 2010 Australian Open.
Yet Club Fed says he has no plans to go quietly into that good night.
In fact, Federer could imagine himself playing tennis for several more years.
“I’m confident I can still play for many more years to come at the highest of levels,” the 16-time major winner said Saturday at the U.S Open.
Federer is the No. 3 seed at this year’s Open and is scheduled to open against Santiago Giraldo of Colombia Monday night under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights. He could potentially face No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals and No. 2 Rafael Nadal, his arch-rival, in the final. If he fails to win the Open, it would mark the first year since 2002 he hasn’t won at least one major.
“This guy’s arguably the greatest player of all time,” four-time Open champ John McEnroe said Thursday on ESPN. “He’s still playing some excellent tennis….I think Federer’s going to win another Major. I don’t know if it’s going to be this one here, but he seems to be healthy. He hasn’t played his best tennis, but he wants to save it for the Majors, let’s be honest right now. I mean, he wants to win an Open or a Wimbledon.”
Federer doesn’t seem overly focused on the immediate future, and says he plans to remain around for a while.
“I feel my game allows me to, you know, still play for many more years because I have a relaxing playing style,” he said. “I have almost played a thousand matches on tour and that leaves its toll, but I’m very professional when it comes to massages, stretching, diet, sleep, all of that stuff.
“So I have always looked in the long term as well for a long time.”
The last man 30 or over to win the Open was Pete Sampras in 2002, when he was 31.
Federer played Sampras’ great rival, Andre Agassi, then 35, in the 2005 Open final, so he has a role model of someone who was successful at that age.
“I was like, ‘Wow, that was his 20th US Open I think in a row,'” Federer said. “I’ve got a ways to go.
“This is my 13th time here, 12th time maybe in the main draw, so it’s definitely an inspiration seeing guys being around for a long time like Ken Rosewall, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, and then there are tons of other players who were there for a long time.”
**Federer distancing himself from Tiger
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.