March 21, 2007

Roger Federer has the rare luxury of time on his hands as he prepares for a second-round start on Saturday at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Following a surprise defeat 10 days ago in his opening match at the Pacific Life Open, the world No. 1 has been able to mix leisure with his intense practice sessions at Crandon Park.

"I got some unexpected time off," the 2007 champion in Melbourne and Dubai told reporters. "This is the first time in years that I've had a week. I had time to take another rest, time for leisure and for practice. I don't know if it's going to pay off."

Federer said that he is indulging in a some non-tennis activities. "I like to go shopping here, walk around South Beach. It's nice to go there, with nice restaurants here and there."

The Swiss top seed, whose 41-match win streak ended when he was beaten in California by Argentine qualifier Guillermo Canas, said he hopes his renewed preparation will be worthwhile.

"It's going to be interesting to see my reaction here," he said. "I got here early, but I don' know if it's going to pay off."

The 25-year-old, who lifted a dozen trophies in 2006, said his extra week of preparation will help with fitness. "I will definitely have no problems with energy towards the end of the year.

"I haven't played much this season yet. It will be good to get more matches in Miami."

Federer is aiming to obtain the one grand slam honor missing from his trophy case as he concentrates on trying to win Roland Garros.

"I have only a handful of days off until Wimbledon," he explained. "It won't be difficult (to stay fit and fresh) except if I lose in the first round of the French Open.

"That's not really my goal. I've been preparing for that (clay) for quite some time. I look at it on the positive side."

Federer begins in Miami on Saturday night against the winner from a first-round match between Russian Igor Andreev and American Sam Querrey.

You May Like