WIMBLEDON — Roger Federer says adding to his haul of 16 tennis Grand Slam titles is now more important to him than returning to number one in the world.
The 30-year-old has spent a total of 285 weeks atop the rankings in his career, but currently sits third behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
“Number one is a nice feeling,” said the Swiss. “Every day when you wake up, you know you’re the best at something.
“But at this moment, it’s the trophies that excite you from day to day.”
Federer led the rankings for an unprecedented 237 weeks before Nadal replaced him in August 2008.
He added another 48 weeks between July 2009 and June 2010, only for the Spaniard to step up again.
Nadal and Djokovic have since dominated, leaving Federer just short of Pete Sampras’s 286-week cumulative record.
“I’ve been at number one in the past and that felt great,” he explained. “But trophies are what really gets you going.
“They go hand in hand. When you win a lot of titles you’re going to be high up the rankings, which is important for your seeding and so forth. But it’s really titles that interest you the most.”
Federer begins his 14th consecutive Wimbledon campaign against Albert Ramos of Spain today.
The third seed is aiming to equal Sampras’s record of seven triumphs at the All England Club and if he succeeds, it will be his first major success since the 2010 Australian Open.
“I am dreaming of the title,” Federer admitted. “I’ve reached the quarter-finals in the last two years and I want to do better. A seventh title would be amazing. Tying Pete would be absolutely fantastic.
“I feel everything is working in my game.
Physically, I have no lingering injuries. I’m in a good spot right now. My confidence is very good. I’ve won many tournaments in the last year so I feel perfect in that regard.
“I’m match fit and I think that’s key going into a Grand Slam. The hunger is big — I’m hungry and motivated to be playing this high level, wanting to win the big tournaments and this is one of them.”