Federer targets 20 Grand Slam titles before retirement

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The Independent Online

Roger Federer has set himself the aim of winning at least 20 Grand Slam titles before he retires.

The 29-year-old Swiss took his tally to 16 with victory at the Australian Open earlier this year, but failed to get beyond the quarter-finals at either the French Open or Wimbledon and has dropped to No 3 in the world rankings, his lowest position since November 2003.

However, despite his recent form, Federer said that winning 20 majors is a realistic aim. "I believe that having won three Grand Slams per season three times, and two per year a couple of times, it's something doable for me," he said. "I only play 16-20 tournaments per year, so I'm not overplaying, and that keeps the fire burning."

Federer, who is regarded by many as the greatest ever player, overtook Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon last year. By winning the French Open a month earlier, he became only the sixth man in history to win a career Grand Slam.

But his aura of invincibility has faded in recent months: he has not won a title of any kind since the Australian Open, and his quarter-final defeat to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon marked the first time he failed to make the final at the All England Club since 2002.

Federer, who is married with one-year-old twin daughters, denied his motivation had waned. "I'm giving 100 per cent for each and every tournament that I play because I don't play many," he said. "Tournaments like Toronto this week and Cincinnati next week are important to me, too. The motivation is huge for the next few years and obviously if I can win Grand Slams that's fantastic, but they are not the only motivation over the next few years."

However, Federer did admit that his body requires more attention than it used to: "Being a teenager is different to being 23, and being 23 is very different to say being 28. Today, I know my body better than ever. Some things take a little bit longer to recover from with age."

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