Excerpted from www.TennisNow.com
Fresh off dethroning defending champion Novak Djokovic to capture his fourth career Basel title in front of his hometown fans on Sunday, Federer spent some time strolling around rainy Paris —a prelude to sprinting toward history.
The top-seeded Swiss is aiming to become the first man to reach the final of every Masters 1000 tournament, as well as the first to reach five consecutive Masters finals.
Though the 2009 French Open champion has never surpassed the Paris Indoors quarterfinals in seven career appearances, he's pleased with the quick conditions of the indoor court.
"It's nice that some tournaments have made the courts faster again. I'm not saying it should be the trend for all the tournaments, but indoors is supposed to be faster," Federer said.
"We only have one indoor Masters 1000, so I think it should be the fastest one, which is the case. Shanghai was brutally slow, Toronto was very slow as well. The only other one that is a little bit fast is Cincinnati, then Miami and Indian Wells have been also slowed down drastically."
Working with new coach Paul Annacone, who was a relentless serve-and-volley specialist in his days on the ATP Tour, Federer has tried to play more attacking tennis, moving into net more and using his top-spin backhand as more of an aggressive shot.
"It's good for the players, honestly, to experience a faster court again, and a bit of ‘two-shot' tennis is fun for a change to do. It's tricky—it's not easy—but it's fun," said Federer, who will face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in his opening match tomorrow.
The quarterfinals have been a roadblock for the 16-time Grand Slam champion whose best results at this tournament were quarterfinal appearances in 2002, 2003 and 2008.
"This has been by far my worst Masters 1000 tournament, so I hope I can do well this year. It was always going to be a tough tournament physically, and then such a huge tournament, such great players, that makes it hard as well," Federer said.
"Then maybe, just like I've always said, I've struggled here in the past with the feel of the centre court dimensions, like at Roland Garros actually. So I just think it needs one good tournament for me here, and I know what it's all about. Quarters is just not good enough for me, and that's why I hope I can change it this year."
The second-ranked Swiss called on the ATP to cut its current calender and provide players with a full six-week offseason.
"I think it's time we shifted back a bit and we get a proper offseason really," said Federer. "Four weeks is just not enough offseason really. Six weeks I think is much better as already you can take two weeks off practice three, four weeks which is a lot for us in our world."
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