by Matt Cronin
Roger Federer, who easily beat Tomas Berdych in the Indian Wells quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-0, says he is not surprised that he is still going strong at 33 years of age. While the No. 2-ranked Federer has not won a major title since 2012 at Wimbledon, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has won eight tournaments over the past three years.
The Swiss believes he can continue playing for years to come.
"I was going to say my goal was always to play for long time," Federer said. "Since 2004 when I became world No. 1 I was at the crossroads and I said, ‘Well, I want to try to play as long as I possibly can, so let's not overplay.’ I think that's also when I started not to play the weeks before Slams and give myself that extra time, focus even more on the Slams and just give myself the best possible chance to be fit at the back end of the Grand Slam or avoid injury that way."
Federer added that he rests more at this point in his career, which has helped prevent injury.
In 2014, Federer played during the last week in November, when Switzerland defeated France to win its first Davis Cup. He also played some exhibition matches in December.
This year, Federer played at the start of the season in Brisbane and won the title. He didn't play the following week, then lost in the third round of the Australian Open to Andreas Seppi. He then went home and didn’t play for five weeks, returning at the end of February in Dubai, where he won the title.
"Still do make enough vacation," Federer said. "I'm a big believer in rest and then working hard in the offseason whenever you get a chance. So I think I did well. If I look now how no top player almost plays the week before a Grand Slam, I don't know if that's a positive thing that I guess I maybe created a little bit. But at the same time, it seems like top guys are more injury-free than they ever have been, which is a good thing."
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