Roger Federer's Reduced Schedule Will Lead to Big 2013

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25:  Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a backhand in his semifinal match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during day twelve of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

At 31 years old, Roger Federer is reaching the downside of his career. But don't count him out just yet, his strategy for 2013 should see him contend for big titles throughout the year.  

Federer announced his schedule through his official website and it only includes 14 dates for the year. He played in 19 events in 2012. 

Federer has always been a highly cerebral and intelligent player on the court. His decision to pick and choose what tournaments he competes in shows he is just as wise off of it. 

The 17-time Grand Slam champion is one of the true legends of the sports, but is now locked in a race against Father Time to add to his legacy. Ensuring that he gets the proper rest between the major events of the year will be crucial to his success. 

Anyone that thought the Swiss superstar couldn't compete at the highest levels anymore were certainly proved wrong at the Australian Open. Federer breezed through the competition to the quarterfinals, and defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to get to the Semi-Finals.

Considering Federer's draw, an appearance in the semi's was a great way to kick off the 2013 season. A win over a player as physically imposing as Tsonga shows that he can play with anyone despite his age.

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Even in defeat, Federer still looked like a major contender — he pushed Murray to five sets. 

However, playing at that level throughout an entire tournament can take a toll on the body and that's why Federer is smart to play in less tournaments in 2013. 

His schedule still includes all of the major tournaments and he will have ample time in smaller tournaments to sharpen his skills. He'll be playing in the ATP ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam beginning Feb. 9. It will be the first time he's played since the Australian Open. 

After winning the tournament in 2012, Federer's performance should be a precursor for big things to come, a rested Federer is still one of the best players in the world. 

By skipping tournaments like the Miami Masters (a tournament he has not missed since 1999), he can ensure that he can put all he has into winning the tournaments that matter most.