Wimbledon 2014: Roger Federer is in a good place at his favourite hunting ground

Relaxed Swiss is confident that he can land a record eighth title

Wimbledon

The statistics show a steady but unmistakeable decline in Roger Federer’s fortunes, but do not try telling that to the  32-year-old Swiss. Federer will start his 60th successive Grand Slam tournament – the longest unbroken run by a male player in the Open era – believing that he can win a record eighth Wimbledon title.

“If things click I should be able to win the tournament,” Federer said here yesterday. “This year I feel all the options are there. Return, serve, serve-and-volley, come in, my backhand – everything is working to my liking.

“For that reason, I feel I’m a bit more relaxed mentally because I know it’s there. I clearly want to do better than last year, there’s no doubt about it.”

Last year’s Wimbledon brought the most stunning defeat of Federer’s career. His second-round loss to the world No 116, Sergiy Stakhovsky, who had never beaten a top-10 player in 21 previous  attempts, ended his record run of 36 consecutive appearances in Grand Slam quarter-finals. It was also his earliest loss at the All England Club for 11 years.

Federer ran into Stakhovsky two days ago. “We always joke about the match and all that stuff, that we can only face each other in the final this year,” Federer said with a smile. “I’m totally at peace. I can accept these defeats, even though they were not fun in any way. They’re part of a tennis player’s life.”

Few players can put such reverses behind them as well as Federer is able to do. “That was done a week after Wimbledon,” he said. “After that, I didn’t need to think about it a whole lot more. It was just one of the big goals that I had set for myself. I failed. Back to work. Get yourself in shape.”

The former world No 1, who had back trouble for much of 2013, said he had not arrived here in good form 12 months ago. “I don’t know if my game was good enough to win the entire thing last year,” he said, adding that his victory in the grass-court tournament at Halle in the build-up to Wimbledon “maybe masked the problems I was playing with, the way I was playing”.

Federer’s problems continued through the summer and he said he had turned his fortunes around only after taking some important decisions. “I took a decision to change things around in terms of my exercises, my practice and my scheduling,” Federer said. “I’m happy nine months later that I am in a much better place than I was here last year.”

If this year has seen a marginal upturn in Federer’s results, with titles won in Dubai in February and at Halle last weekend, the clear trend in the biggest events in recent years has been downhill. Since the 2010 Australian Open he has played in 17 Grand Slam tournaments and won just one title, here in 2012.

In his three Grand Slam appearances since losing to Stakhovsky at Wimbledon, Federer was knocked out in the fourth round of the US Open by Tommy Robredo, in the semi-finals of the Australian Open by Rafael Nadal and in the fourth round of the French Open by Ernests Gulbis.

Nevertheless there is nothing like a return to his favourite hunting ground to put him in optimistic mood. “I feel I have a very good chance again this year,” he said. “I hope to utilise my fitness, the amount of matches I’ve played this year. So I’m really coming in with a much better feeling than maybe in the last year, for instance.”

If Federer wins it is reckoned that he will be the first father of four children to win a Grand Slam title. His wife, Mirka, gave birth to twin boys six weeks ago. The couple also have four-year-old twin daughters. The whole family are here and Federer said he had been enjoying plenty of time with them. “I’m just doing two hours’ maximum [practice] a day,” he said.

He added: “I think as you get older you appreciate everything even more. You enjoy it more because you know you might not have another 15 Wimbledons left. You’re maybe even slightly more happy to be part of this great experience every time.

“I always enjoy coming back here. It’s a pleasure being fit and eager to give it a go again.”

Sport
footballLIVE City face Stoke, while Warnock returns to Palace dugout
Arts and Entertainment
books
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone