Roger Federer on how he and Serena Williams are still competing at the top


Roger Federer and Serena Williams are still fighting for more (Picture: PN/Getty Images)

By the end of this month, Roger Federer and Serena Williams will have a combined age of 76.

It’s possible by that time they will boast a collective haul of 45 Grand Slam titles, with both firmly in the hunt to make more history at the US Open.

The pair will be involved in Tuesday’s night session – with a spot in the semi-finals up for grabs against Wang Qiang and Grigor Dimitrov – and few would write them off going all the way.

Williams and Federer already top the all-time Grand Slam winners charts in the Open Era on the men’s and the women’s sides so one could wonder what motivates them as they approach their 40s, particularly given they have each started their own families.

Federer remains in the hunt to win the US Open (Picture: Kyodo News via Getty Images)

Federer gave an insight into why these great champions still strive for more.

‘Look, Serena and me, she started even earlier than I did on the tour,’ the Swiss said. ‘She’s also had many more injuries than me and more time off away from the game than I did. We went about it different ways, totally different backgrounds and all that.

‘Still I guess you need to be successful, you need to love what you’re doing, find a way to really keep yourself entertained because you go through moments where maybe being away from your home city, village, country, house, whatever it may be, friends, it’s not that fulfilling. You sometimes got to look for ways to keep going.

‘I think what’s helped me so much is stability with my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my sister and my parents, then just the friends we were able to keep throughout my career on the road. It didn’t make me feel like if ever I came home I had nobody.

Serena Williams is chasing Margaret Court’s 24-Slam haul (Picture: Corbis via Getty Images)

‘I always felt like our friends couldn’t wait to come either meet us at the tournaments or wait for us at home. That just made time away or at home so much fun. That has helped me a lot.

‘I mean, success has played a big part in Serena’s and my career, for sure. Maybe travelling and only winning 50% of the matches on tour, then maybe also we wouldn’t be playing any more.

‘But because we know we can still beat the best, win the biggest tournaments, it’s so worthwhile to stay there and see if you can go back to these emotions, see if you can do it at a later stage in your career, and be a totally different person almost, a different player sort of 20 years later. It’s quite exciting actually.’





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