Federer improving hard-court skills for US Open

18th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Federer is improving his hard-court game for the final Grand Slam of the season that starts in New York in September.

Cincinnati -- The arrival of twin girls left Roger Federer little time to enjoy triumphs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and now the Swiss star aims to win one more 2009 Grand Slam.

Federer won the French Open title in June and in July claimed an unprecedented 15th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.

Federer and his wife, Mirka, celebrated in July with the birth of twins Charlene and Myla.

"The Paris and Wimbledon swing was amazing," Federer said Monday as he prepared for his campaign at the Cincinnati Masters.

"I couldn’t have wished for better. Then becoming a father and supporting Mirka was a very enjoyable time. I didn’t think much about what I accomplished (on the court) during that time.

"I remember leaving for Canada thinking that I hadn’t thought of Wimbledon in quite some time," said Federer, who returned to the game after a five-week break in mid-August at the Montreal Masters. "It wasn’t like I was walking down the street at home thinking I was the greatest of all time. I was happy to be a father more than anything."

Federer, who fell in the quarter-finals in Montreal, said fatherhood hasn't hurt him on the court so far.

"I’ve been sleeping enough so it’s not been as bad as I expected," said Federer, who has brought his family on the road with him. "Things have changed in a good way. I love my life now."

His big challenge, Federer said, is improving his hard-court game for the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season that starts in New York in September.

"That’s the big change after having not played in a while," said Federer, who is the top seed in the USD 3 million (CHF 3.2 million) Cincinnati event.

The world number one has a chequered history in Cincinnati. He's won twice, in 2005 and 2007, but has been ousted in his first or second match in six other appearances.

"This tournament has been tricky for me," said Federer, who will open his campaign against Jose Acasuso after the Argentinean defeated Poland's Lukasz Kubot on Monday.

"I either win or lose early. Hopefully this is one of those years where I can go all the way. I feel my game is good enough to do really well here."

AFP / Expatica

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