Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Hungry Federer eyes grand slam titles in 2013

March 1, 2013 -- Updated 1705 GMT (0105 HKT)
  • Roger Federer would rather win more grand slams than return to No. 1 ranking
  • The Swiss has won 17 grand slam titles, -- more than any other male player in history
  • Federer has spent more weeks at world No. 1 than anyone else
  • The world No. 2 insists motivation is not a problem after 15 years as a professional

(CNN) -- Be warned Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray -- from here on in it's all about grand slam titles for Roger Federer.

The 31-year-old Federer has done it all in the world of tennis, winning more championships than any other male player in history and spending a record number of weeks at the top of the world rankings.

But as he approaches the twilight of his glittering career, the 17-time major winner is prioritizing adding to that record haul over returning to the No. 1 spot.

After clinching a record-equaling seventh Wimbledon singles title last year, the Swiss maestro occupied the top berth for a 287th week, breaking the previous record held by U.S. icon Pete Sampras.

Read: Murray's five-star hotel venture

Rising star inspired by Sampras
The drought in U.S. men's tennis
Agassi and Graf's Olympic moments

While admitting reaching No. 1 for the first time in 2004 was a special achievement, when asked by CNN's Leone Lakhani whether he would rather win grand titles or returning to the top, the current No. 2 replied: "At this stage in my career grand slam titles.

"Last year, to get back to world No. 1 was incredible, but I think it is really the first time you get there. You cannot match that up with any other moment, maybe in your career, because it's such a big thing.

"At this point in my career its titles. I've won a lot and I feel if I keep playing the way I am I can still achieve a bit more. So I guess its titles now."


Since turning professional 15 years ago, Federer has notched up a steady stream of records, but surpassing landmarks has never been something he has paid much attention to.

"I never had a 'to do' list," continued the 31-year-old Swiss player. "It's really the media who talk about it.

"When I was close to the all-time grand slam record or the all-time weeks at world No. 1, I was one week away, one slam away, of course you're going to push to try and beat that, but I never adjusted my schedule accordingly.

"I knew if I played well, records would fall along the way."


Despite his unparalleled success, in recent years Federer has seen his position as the reigning power in tennis taken by the all-conquering Djokovic.

How Novak Djokovic stays on top
Tennis stars take on the quick fire quiz
Davis Cup inspires Czech Republic

The Serb has won five of his six grand slam titles in the last two years, while world No. 3 Andy Murray has also risen to the top by winning his first major title as well as reaching the last three showpiece finals.

Read: McEnroe -- 'Attila the Hun' of tennis

It was Britain's Murray who eliminated Federer at the semifinal stage of last month's Australian Open, an event Djokovic won.

"I still have the hunger and the urge to achieve more, because I truly love this sport," added Federer. "That's the easiest part for me, the motivational part.

"I get a lot of questions asking how I do it, but for me it's pretty simple. I wake up in the morning excited to be a tennis player."


Despite his sporting ambition, Federer is very conscious of the importance of spending time with his wife and twin daughters.

"I'm working hard I'm training hard, but at the same time I'm making sure I have enough rest and family time," said the Swiss star.

"At my stage of my career, I need to make sure I get the balance right."

Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.