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Roger Federer: ‘Rankings aren’t that important anymore’

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Roger Federer's last two losses have come to players ranked outside the top 100.

Roger Federer’s last two losses have come to players ranked outside the top 100. (Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

Roger Federer says he’s no longer concerned about his ranking, according to an interview with a Swiss newspaper. Ranked No. 1 a year ago after winning Wimbledon for his 17th major title, Federer has slipped to No. 5, his lowest ranking since 2003.

“I don’t think my ego would suffer if one day I was no longer in the top 10,” Federer told Le Matin. “There’s a moment when the rankings aren’t that important anymore. Honestly, I don’t even know what my current ranking is. Fourth? Fifth? Third? Today, my ranking isn’t that important to me anymore.”

Federer, who is playing a clay-court event in Gstaad, Switzerland, this week, said he’s more motivated than ever to get back on court after losing early at Wimbledon. That motivation is what fuels him to keep playing, regardless of his ranking, which is not unlike his friend Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt, who is still competing hard at age 32, was No. 1 in 2001. This week, he’s ranked No. 64.

Federer was asked whether there might come a point when he would retire because his ranking dropped so low.

“No,” he said. “In terms of rankings at least. Lleyton Hewitt is a great example in my mind. Whether he’s 170th, 20th or fifth, his ranking isn’t important to him. He just takes a lot of pleasure in playing.”

Federer opening the 2014 season at the Brisbane International

Federer, who turns 32 next month, is trying to jump-start his season after changing to a racket with a bigger head and reshuffling his schedule. He’s won only one title this year, an ATP 250 event in Halle, Germany, and his best Grand Slam result came at the Australian Open, where he made the semifinals. He has also suffered some milestone losses. First, he dropped his second-round match at Wimbledon to No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky, snapping his record streak of 36 Grand Slam quarterfinals. Then last week, he lost to No. 114 Federico Delbonis at the German Tennis Championships, marking the first time Federer has lost in back-to-back tournaments to players ranked outside the top 100 since 2002.

Earlier this week, Pete Sampras said he didn’t think Federer would ever win Wimbledon again. Tim Henman and Boris Becker have said Federer’s body, which has remained remarkably injury-free during his career, has finally caught up to him.

Federer receives a cow (yes, a cow) from the Swiss Open organizers

“I don’t have any problem with critics,” Federer said. “But I expect people to be honest. This situation is not new for me. In 2009 and 2010, people were already saying, ‘He’s won everything, now he’s done.’ The more people comment, the greater the probability that someone will say something stupid.”

Federer plays his first match in Gstaad on Thursday against Daniel Brands.

  • Published On Jul 24, 2013
  • 16 comments
    QuaziAhmedHussain
    QuaziAhmedHussain

    Roger Federer is unquestionably one of the all-time greats.  He amassed millions in earnings as well.  I see no point in his carrying on!  Isn't it better to quit than to lose to unheard of players?  As an old fan I feel ashamed.

    Certainly don't enjoy watching a great not coming to his senses.

    Tri N
    Tri N

    Come on people.

     Those three guys beat Federer on those days with those out of sky ... games can beat anyone .

    Anything can happen on any given day.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    Courtney: "Earlier this week, Pete Sampras said he didn’t think Federer would ever win Wimbledon again."


    That's completely false. Sampras never ever said that "Federer would ever win Wimbledon again". In fact, at the same interview, Sampras did not rule out Federer at this US Open either.


    This article has the youtube clip of sampras's complete interview. Listen from 8:37 to 11:25.

    http://tinyurl.com/luoxqjo


    We should never jump to conclusions from reading a badly-titled news article "Sampras suspects Wimbledon record is safe". Always check the actual interview transcript or clip. The quality of news articles on tennis is mediocre, and I've caught many tennis writers making up stuff simply by checking the original complete interviews. There's too much fiction in tennis articles.

    ashok.korwar
    ashok.korwar

    I really cant understand why people keep pushing him to retire.. he is still great to watch and a model for anyone who is learning the game.. wish people would mind their own business and let Federer mind his. What will we gain if he retires?

    kintoy
    kintoy

    and he lost to Brands...

    icanhasfarikal
    icanhasfarikal

    I mostly agree with his comments, but Federer himself added extra tournaments last year to reach #1 and add to his record of 300 weeks.

    RafalPruszyn-ski
    RafalPruszyn-ski

    As far as winning a Slam again, I don't know about Fed, he may or may not, but I do know Samprass will never win one. Pete is just jealous he got his record wiped out and that now 14 is the new 5. And he's jealous that at fed's age he was already a decrepit wreck while fed is still fit and spry.

    RafalPruszyn-ski
    RafalPruszyn-ski

    For chissakes, people, the guy is 32. He is still a young man playing a game he loves, making a lot of money doing it. Why should he retire? His legacy is set, nothing he does from now on will change what he has already accomplished. The rankings are a non-issue as no one will ever even come close to the weeks at #1 he has had. From now everything he wins is pure gravy. To talk of retirement with him when he has no health or family reasons to retire is pure idiocy. What's the alternative? Grow fat in the commentator's booth, at a huge cut in pay? He makes tens of millions of dollars a year by simply playing, win or lose. Why stop at 32?


    I'm sure he still cares about the grand slams. But he probably isnt as desperate for them anymore. Still, he has a better chance of winning one than all but 4 guys in the world. What then do the guys below him have to play for? Maybe they should also retire?

    6marK6
    6marK6

    Well, I guess he can add the rankings to Grand Slams.

    RafalPruszyn-ski
    RafalPruszyn-ski

    @icanhasfarikal  

    And he cared then. And once he set the record which will not be touched by anyone currently playing, he stopped caring. His 17 majors is a big number but it isn't as out of reach as his weeks at #1, so he probably cares enough to try and win one or two more just to make it safer.

    6marK6
    6marK6

    @RafalPruszyn-ski Don't think you will ever see him in a commentator's booth, he is not rich in charisma. Nike kind of likes boring athletes. I am not saying he should retire, but let's be honest, this guy could never spend all the money he has already made, so it is obviously not to make money. He will never win another tourney though, the game is too physical today and he is too old. Still, much greater than Sampras.

    Dubinion
    Dubinion

    @6marK6 rankings don't matter to him now because he has the record for most weeks at No. 1. He still cares about the majors because that record may be in jeopardy. I expect he will win 1 or 2 more  - nobody saw Pete winning his last and Roger is in far closer earshot to the top two or three than Pete was. If he can't win another one then that means everyone else behind him might as well give up I guess. He has a shot at the US open and Wimby for the next 3 years I would say, if he can adapt to the new racquet... otherwise he may be done.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @topsport1 @RafalPruszyn-skiTop Sport1: Your USA Today article is not Sampras' "actual interview". It's just an AP news report on part of what Sampras said. 


    This article has the youtube clip of sampras's actual, complete interview.

    http://tinyurl.com/luoxqjo


    Although in 2009 sampras did say that federer was the best ever, before that (for a few years) he refused to consider the possibility that Federer might be the best ever.


    In early July 2012, Sampras did presumptiously say that "The only record I think I'll have left will be No. 1 for six years, which I think will be tough for anyone to break."


    Once again you're far off from reality, yet you self-righteously accuse others of things that you yourself do.

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @topsport1 @Michael9 @RafalPruszyn-ski   Top Sport:  I've caught you once again arrogantly foisting your ignorant bloated opinions on other posters and making personal attacks on other posters -- and once again you can't even get your basic facts right, yet you pompously put down other posters.

    You're just another big ego who thinks his opinions are the right opinions -- because you jump to conclusions based on the partial information you know. You even reject reality when shown clear information that contradicts your bloated views.

    What's really not healthy is your wasting your life on fantasy 'make-believe' sites enjoyed by people with a sick animus against Federer -- unless you don't have anything else better to do with your life. Yeah, life too short, lol.

    Now calm down, be quiet and learn to be civil: your comments against me are abusive personal attacks that clearly violate the rules of this CNNSI site. You resort to such attcaks out of desperation: you know you don't have a sound rebuttal based on facts, logic or principle. It was you who initially sought me out -- now you don't get to decide when and how I will respond to your comments.

    topsport1
    topsport1

    @Michael9 @topsport1 @RafalPruszyn-ski you're literally insane, get another interest either outside of tennis, or inside of tennis and outside of federer, it's not healthy...even people getting paid by fed aren't this far inside a bubble..lighten up, it would do you, and everyone who has to suffer from you here, a lot of good


    check out @pseudofed on twitter and notrogerfederer.com, it would be a start


    and don't respond to me anymore, i won't you...tennis is a tough game, but a fun game to play and follow...nobody needs your encyclopedia britannica level of verbiage smacking them in the face ripe with the odor of obsessiveness and insecurity, life's too short