Roger Federer: ‘It’s about not losing sight of them all and…’

World No. 1 and nine-time champion Roger Federer advanced to his 16th quarter-final in as many appearances in Halle in 2018. Roger worked hard to post a tight 6-3 3-6 7-6 victory over Benoit Paire in one hour and 58 minutes. It was Roger’s 61st win in one of his favorite tournaments and 23rd win in 25 matches played that season to extend his impressive winning streak a couple of weeks before his 37th birthday. Roger recorded the 18th consecutive victory on grass and the 170th overall on the fastest surface, approaching Jimmy Connors’ Open Era record. It was his sixth meeting and the sixth win for Roger, as he dropped a set against Benoit for the first time before rallying in the third to clinch victory in the deciding tie-break. Paire fought well and did his best to keep his composure and match Federer’s pace. In the twelfth game, he avoided two match points on serve before falling in the tie-break after holding two match points at 6-5 and 7-6. Benoit had to keep in touch with Roger in the first five or six games, and he did. The Frenchman served well and created a break chance in game seven which Roger saved with a service winner. Paire had a game point a few minutes later, but Federer found a way to stay in contention. The Swiss grabbed a break that put him up 5-3 and fired a service winner in the next one to wrap up the first game in 27 minutes. Roger’s level suddenly dropped in the second set, serving at 57% and giving up almost half of the points in his games to find himself down 4-0, a rare sight in their grass-court encounters.

King Roger will play the Laver Cup

Roger Federer is of the opinion that the tennis court is more of a place of work for him than the playground it used to be back in his early days as a professional. “The kids run in all directions [when we get to a playground]. It’s about not losing sight of them all and not getting too distracted. Because of course there will be one or two visitors,” Federer said. “Above all abroad, I’m no longer asked, it’s clear to others from the start that I have to pose with them. Then mommy is quickly called on Facetime: ‘Look who I’m with! It’s Roger. People are more shy in Switzerland. They say, ‘Roger, we saw that you just took a picture. We don’t want to bother you, but is it okay if we do another one right away?'” Federer said.