Sport | Tennis

Federer hungry to add elusive medal to his vast collection

Swiss knows London is his last chance to clinch Olympic honour

  • By Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer
  • Published: 18:59 February 26, 2012

Roger Federer of Switzerland
  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • Roger Federer takes part in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships which start on Monday.
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Dubai: Regardless of having won a record 16 Gland Slams and 71 singles titles, Swiss great Roger Federer says he is still hungry for more success as he targets an elusive gold medal at this summer's London Olympics.

Federer, who will take part in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships which start on Monday, also dismissed talk that one of his goals for the season was to regain the World No 1 ranking he held so emphatically two seasons ago.

"I'd love an Olympic gold, everyone knows that," he told members of the media at the iconic Burj Al Arab on Sunday.

"I've had an amazing experience at all the three Olympics I've played. But this is big milestone for tennis at the Olympics, for all players of my generation. I'm really happy that it happens in our lifetime to be quite honest.

Special atmosphere

"I'm still in my prime to actually have a shot at not only playing in the Olympics, but to do well.

"That combination obviously drives me a lot to make sure I'm in good shape and a good position when I enter the tournament.

"It will be a very, very big and special atmosphere there, I'm really looking forward to it and I hope I can have a good result there."

Federer was bundled out of the 2004 Athens Olympics in the second round by Thomas Berdych, who is in his half of the draw in Dubai, and then fell to James Blake in the quarter-finals at Beijing four years later.

When asked by Gulf News if one of his goals was to regain the World No 1 ranking, Federer said: "Sure, getting to No 1 again is a long-term goal, but it doesn't drive me on a daily basis.

"I feel that if I play really well between now and through the US Open there is a shot. But then again, there's a shot for probably ten players to do that as well. So I'm aware that I'm not the only one.

"But I feel like I'm in a good run right now, won a lot of tournaments in a short period of time which obviously gives me a lot of confidence.

"But like I said the focus right now is to try to play well day by day and make it sure I get through a tough stretch here from Dubai to Miami and then we'll attack the clay eventually. So that's the plan for now.

"World No 1 will probably be decided for the majority of the players between the French Open and the US Open period, where there are so many highlights."

Federer launches his bid for a fifth title in Dubai when he plays longtime friend Michael Lodra, a player he has beaten in two previous meetings, in the first round.

"It's a tough draw against him," said the Swiss great. "He's playing well and is a funny guy. I hope he's going to put on a good show."

Federer won his last title in Dubai, his training base and a place that he often calls home, back in 2007. World No 1 Novak Djokovic has won the last three, including last year's final against the Swiss.
 

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