Roger Federer: "Mental strength is one of the most important factors for a successful career"
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Roger Federer: "Mental strength is one of the most important factors for a successful career"

Muscles of steel and good fitness may be half the battle in sport, but they're no more than that. Roger Federer knows that the head plays a part too.

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It's not physical fitness that's a tennis player's real secret weapon, but mental strength. Roger Federer, Credit Suisse's global brand ambassador, can tell us a thing or two about it.

You must have the necessary fire, but not get too hot-blooded. Players who have screaming fits on court, pick a quarrel with the umpire, and smash rackets out of frustration just make themselves lose focus. You have to keep a cool head, but mustn't be cold and indifferent in the way you play. Only people who are emotionally involved can keep the desire to win burning in a controlled way.

In short, fire and ice have to be in balance, and each comes into its own depending on how the match progresses. Federer says that it took him three years to find the right balance and his mental strength. "I was able to achieve that so it's one of the things I'm actually most proud of."