Ahead of the Swiss Indoors in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland, Roger Federer is beginning to feel the pressure building up on him.
Federer, the 19-time Grand Slam champion, is no stranger to winning big events, but playing in his hometown is making him take the event more serious than ever before.
Looking into his first round draw with 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe, Federer is weary of the threat the explosive teenager could have coming out of the gate, prompting Federer to do something he has never done before by looking ahead to the draw.
Talking about the difficult task he is going to face in the event, the Swiss said: "On Tuesday I play against a good first-round opponent in Frances Tiafoe, who is going to have a great career.
"I hope he’s not going to start his full-blown career right here in Basel, my hometown, I hope he leaves me this one and maybe he can have the next one.
“I’m really hoping to win that first one and then sort of get into the tournament."
When discussing the competition and the possible opponents that await him, Federer then admitted that he's doing something he doesn't usually do.
"I have a really tough draw as well if you just look one round ahead with Benoit Paire or Steve Johnson – I usually don’t do that but it’s a tough little section for an ATP 500.
"It’s a tough start so I don’t know what to expect, personally.
“I hope I can stick around for a little bit. I do feel a lot of pressure, I must admit.
“Thankfully [feeling the pressure] has not been a big issue for me here in Basel because I’ve been in the finals the last 10 times that I have played here, but there’s no guarantee I will do it again this year.
"That’s why I arrived early, I’ve practiced a lot here on the centre court already, I’m starting to feel the ball better and my body is ready to go, so I’m hoping to play a good tournament.”
With the Swiss Indoors quickly approaching, only time will tell how Federer will perform with this new approach.
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