In CGTN Sports Scene's ongoing special tennis series, Beyond the Baseline, we have tennis legend and world no. 2 Roger Federer as our latest guest. The 37-year-old is the only person in history to have won 20 grand slam titles in his career - and he is still playing.
Speaking of his experience playing in Shanghai, he said: "I have always made Shanghai a priority. Obviously, it happened in the beginnings of the tournaments like the World Championships and Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. I was extremely excited when the plan for the Shanghai Masters 1000 was planned in Shanghai. I inaugurated the stadium and so I feel very connected to the place."
"I love the tournament organizers, who have been great fans of mine for a long time. I have made a promise that basically, I will always make this a priority on my schedule and won't miss out. This time I came at the last moment and tried to prepare myself within a short span of time and did my best."
The Swiss ace still finds himself in the groove in China.
"I am happy that I am still on the tour. I am still enjoying myself. This time the family came to Shanghai. My wife Mirka came to China after almost 10 years and she was really missing China. Now the kids are here for the first time. They are having a great time. It's been a great week. We have been on road for a long time now. It's been a week in Shanghai since I won a few matches and stayed here for a while to enjoy my stay in the city," he added.
Even though he is well past what is considered to be the prime age for a tennis player, the former world number one is still going strong and has ignored the criticism over his decision to extend the career.
Federer explained: "Average retirement age in tennis is 32-33, I guess. I am 37. I understand if they call me old. In life, I am still young. As a tennis player I am on the older side definitely. I am also playing the next generation of players coming up. It's just a different feel. When I came to the tour as a youngster in 2002, I was playing the likes of Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Carlos Moya, Tim Henman to name a few. Those were the guys I knew from TV and all of a sudden now these new players know me from TV and they are playing against me. I appreciate that the young generation is knocking at the door and it's really excited to play against them.
"For me, you go through transitions. This one is a really enjoyable one because there are still some guys of my age group still on the tour. I think playing against different generations help me stay motivated on the tour."