Federer will be ready for cement
Roger Federer would have hoped for more than just the few days of pause he managed after the London Olympic final, but will take what he can get as the world No 1 prepars for his start on Wednesday at the Cincinnati Masters.
The top seed said even his few days away to celebrate his 31st birthday with his wife and twin daughters was worthwhile for recuperation as he lays the groundwork for his final sprint of the abbreviated summer hardcourt season going into the US Open.
"The last few years we always had at least a two, three-week preparation for the hard courts," said the seven-time Wimbledon winner and Olympic silver medallist behind Andy Murray.
"But this time we've just had two and a half weeks more on grass, so obviously I don't think the preparation is as good as it's been in the previous years.
"I've had better preparations, there's no doubt about it, but it was definitely key for me to take some time off.
"I'm sort of in a tunnel vision right now from the French Open through Wimbledon, the Olympics. Until the US Open (starting August 27) I'm making sure I have enough rest, I play enough, and I stay injury-free."
Federer owns four titles in Cincinnati, which he has played uninterruptedly since 2002.
The Swiss expressed regret for the long-term knee injury absence of Rafael Nadal, who has not played for seven weeks since a Wimbledon second round loss and the flare-up up his chronic knee problems.
"I can't believe he's been out that long," said the Swiss world No 1.
"I thought for sure we would see him in Toronto, but now he missed Toronto and Cincinnati. It's very surprising, because it was nothing that we heard of prior to the injury.
"He played so well on clay, and then actually seemed fine at Wimbledon. He had more time by losing earlier at Wimbledon.
"It all came as big surprise, these two pullouts. I'm sad for him. I hope he'll be back for the Open."