(Australian Associated Press)
Roger Federer has ruled out skipping the French Open to save himself for Wimbledon as he hunts down more major silverware.
The resurgent Swiss made it clear he wouldn’t be playing on for second prizes after being buoyed by his return to the top 10 in the wake of his unexpected Australian Open triumph.
The rankings boost will allow him to pick and choose a lighter schedule in 2017 without worrying about chasing points to retain seeding status at the big events.
“If I would have lost first round (in Melbourne), I would have dropped outside of the top 30. Now winning, I’m back in the top 10. It’s that’s crazy,” Federer told AAP before flying home for some well-earned R & R.
“So it gives me options for the remainder of the season – good options and then it’s important to play with fire and be hungry.
“You have to play that way. Just spending time on tour is not good enough.”
A 10-times finalist on the All England Club lawns, Federer swatted away suggestions he may bypass Paris – as he did last year – to have another big crack at landing an eighth Wimbledon crown.
“I don’t see that because now we have an extra week on the grass, so I don’t see myself skipping the French,” he said.
“My goal needs to be to stay healthy. So when I do go on court that, really, it’s a highlight.
“I know you can’t make 25 tournaments a highlight, but you can make 15 a highlight and really be well prepared for those and enjoy it in the process.
“I have a month now until the tournament in Dubai comes around. So that’s going to give me some time to reflect and see how I will attack the rest of the season.”
In wiping out Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka before toppling Rafael Nadal in the Melbourne Park final on Sunday night, Federer became the first man since Mats Wilander at the 1982 French Open to beat four top-10 rivals en route to a grand slam title.
“It was definitely special on so many levels,” Federer said of his 18th major win.
“Being the oldest guy to win the Australian Open for some time now. That’s maybe almost the least of things that I think about.
“I see the comeback (from six months out of the game) as a such a beautiful thing.
“Then I see the epic match with Nadal, playing three five-setters during the tournament. I never thought that my body would be able to handle that.
“And then just beating these top-10 players along the way, that just makes this a super special tournament and one that I’ll remember maybe the most.”
The 35-year-old said his Open victory was also a reward for perseverance.
“Even though I didn’t win slams the last few years, I’m happy that I played tennis that personally I enjoyed,” he said.
“I played attacking tennis, I was coming forward, I was making plays. That made me happy even though I lost some times.”