Miami - Roger Federer, fresh from winning his third title of
the year in Miami, said on Sunday he will take a nearly two-month break from
the sport before returning for the French Open in late May.
Federer has won the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami
since coming back from a six-month injury lay-off and he said he'll skip some
clay court tournaments, including Masters series events in Monte Carlo, Madrid
"I'm not 24 anymore so things have changed in a big way
and I probably won't play any clay court event except the French. That is what
it is going to look like, I need rest, my body needs healing, I need time as
well to prepare, you will probably see me at the French again," he told
ESPN in an on-court interview.
"I want to stay healthy and enjoy myself. Because when
I am healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this, when I am not
feeling this good there is no chance I will be in the finals competing with
"That is why this break coming now in the clay court
season and focusing everything now on the French, the grass and then the hard
courts after that is going to be the key for me," he added.
Federer beat Nadal in straight sets in the Miami final on
Sunday, his fourth straight win against his long-term rival.
The 18-times Grand Slam winner now appears to be mainly
focused on the grass season and adding to his seven titles at Wimbledon and he
downplayed expectations for the French Open, which he has won just once.
"I will probably stay on hard courts ... and get on the
clay two weeks before the French, that's the plan for now and hopefully I will
play the French and we will see how the build-up is going to go and for me
that's essentially when the season really starts.
"Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal now, in the near
future, the American hard courts I guess as well. The French Open I guess, to
some extent, we will see what happens, no pressure there really.
"But all of the grass is important to me," he
"For me basically the second half of the season is the
big priority which is why I am taking this break now," added Federer.
Federer said he also had some concern that clay may cause
trouble for his knee.
"Part of the situation was that my knee was really
strange on the clay last year, so maybe being away from the clay as much as
possible is maybe is a good thing as well, even though I don't think it was
because of the clay as such.
"But my physio, my fitness guy, thought that could be
also a good thing not to be to be too much on clay. I feel very comfortable,
very confident it is the right decision.
Spending time with his young family is also a consideration
said Federer, as well as the need to keep himself motivated.
"At the end of the day I need to look after my health
and all parts of my life. I can't keep this pace up every single day or the
desire will run out. I'd rather take a step back and then really come back with
a lot of energy and happiness and I can share that with everybody.
"Otherwise you will just see me and see that all I want
to do is just get out of here and I don't want to be that guy, I really