x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

'Good set-up' allows Federer to make up on his lost sleep

Sleeping patterns are vital to top tennis players, so Roger Federer knows he has his work cut out as he bids to become the first man in 84 years to win six consecutive US Opens soon after the birth of his twins.

Unusually for Federer he had an early match on Saturday.
Unusually for Federer he had an early match on Saturday.

NEW YORK // Sleeping patterns are vital to top tennis players, so Roger Federer knows he has his work cut out as he bids to become the first man in 84 years to win six consecutive US Opens soon after the birth of his twins. Federer on Saturday kept his campaign to match Bill Tilden on track with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 third-round win over old foe Lleyton Hewitt, also a father, and then took time out to reflect on his new paternal responsibilities.

"We have a good set-up. Mirka is great. She works extremely hard," Federer said of his wife, who gave birth to twin girls in July shortly after Wimbledon when her husband became the all-time record-holder of 15 grand slams. "She's tired during the day but she has also some help, has a little bit of life, and also can watch me play and get outside a little bit. That's important," Federer said. "Sure, I'm losing sleep, but that's part of it. I make sure on my off day maybe I do get a night where I can sleep in longer or take an afternoon nap. It's working out OK."

Early on against Hewitt, it seemed as though Federer might be short of sleep as he gave an unusually listless first set display against the Australian livewire. The match had been scheduled first up on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, rare in Federer's case, and the midday sun was beating down on him. However, he insisted the early start was not a problem. "Sure, for a match it's rather on the earlier side, but I'd rather play at 11 than 10pm, to be quite honest," said the world No 1.

* AFP