Roger Federer explains why he took nine-week break during the season

2017 ATP 1000 Shanghai Rolex Masters - Day 2

He's a name that is synonymous with not just winning, but winning over a large scope of time. 

As the record holding Grand Slam winner that he is, it can sometimes feel like the Swiss legend Roger Federer will go on forever, picking up title after title.

Now aged 36, however, Federer has made the decision to only compete if he feels he has a genuine chance of winning.

This year he decided to take a gap from the demanding tennis schedule and missed out on most of the clay court schedule for 2017.

With the majority of players on the tour now younger than him, the Swiss took the decision to try and give him a fresh edge for the remainder of the season.

Speaking on the matter, Federer revealed spending some time away from competitive action in the middle of the season wasn't part of his initial schedule plan.

"Taking sort of nine weeks off in the clay court season wasn’t something actually I had planned, that only come by me winning the Australian, Indian Wells and Miami," he said, as per The Express

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"That gave me that opportunity that I should maybe take it easy and save myself for the rest of the season. I hope that I will feel the benefit now while other guys are maybe getting a bit tired."

After a great start to the season winning in Miami, Australia and Indian Wells, to some, the decision to risk stalling his own momentum by taking a rest from tennis might have looked little strange.

2017 ATP 1000 Shanghai Rolex Masters - Day 4

Knowing his own body as he does, Federer clearly thinks that the gap will not hurt his form, while at the same time giving him an edge in terms of energy levels over the rest.

It is clearly a bold strategy, but with the track record of success that Federer has, it would be brave to disagree with his thinking.

On Thursday, he beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in less than an hour to reach the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

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