Thursday, July 26, 2012
Roger Federer: 2016 Games possible
LONDON -- Roger Federer is leaning toward competing in the 2016 Games if his body holds up.
Federer, who turns 31 on Aug. 8, said Thursday his mindset includes Rio de Janeiro, but it will depend on his ability to stay healthy.
"There's so many moving parts," Federer said. "They also have a role in this decision-making but the mind still wants me to play, and I hope the body allows me to do it as well."
First up for the world No. 1 is the London Games, where he will try for his first gold medal in singles on a court he knows well. Federer's first match is against Colombian Alejandro Falla, who pushed the Swiss star to five sets before losing in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion teamed with Stanislas Wawrinka to win doubles gold in 2008. His best finish in the singles competition was a fourth-place showing in Sydney in 2000.
But this year's Olympic tennis facility is the All England Club, where Federer won his 17th Grand Slam title a couple weeks ago.
Asked if defending Olympic champion Rafael Nadal of Spain had let him know he was pulling out of the London Games, Federer's response drew chuckles.
"I don't think he will call me to discuss his problems with me," Federer said. "I wouldn't do that, not even close."
Nadal has been hampered by injuries and withdrew last week. He returned to his native Spain after losing to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon, and has not played since.
Nadal won the French Open for a record seventh time this year but has struggled with left knee problems at times this season. It was his 11th Grand Slam title.
Federer said he was "sad" Nadal wouldn't be competing in London.
"Because I'm sure he wanted to do that," he said. "I wish him a speedy recovery."
Second-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the bronze medalist at the Beijing Games in 2008, was drawn into the same half as Wimbledon finalist Andy Murray of Britain, meaning the pair could meet in the semifinals. Djokovic plays Fabio Fognini of Italy in the first round, ahead of a possible second-round match against American Andy Roddick.
While Federer may be the favorite at the grass-court venue, the best-of-three format up to the Olympic finals could prove troubling. The margin for error is smaller with shorter matches, he said.
"We know the danger of the early rounds," Federer said. "I think, hopefully, once I'm able to get going and get in full flight on the court I hope I can be the favorite or I am the favorite because usually that's when I do play better."