Cape Town - Swiss superstar Roger Federer, who turned 37 earlier this week, told reporters that in order to keep playing at the highest level he needed to be selective in which tournaments he plays to stay fit and competitive.
Federer, ranked World No 2 behind Spain's Rafa Nadal, is currently taking part in the Cincinnati's Western & Southern Open, winning his first round match against German Peter Goyowczyk on Tuesday.
In an interview with reporters, when questioned about his choice to play fewer tournaments, Federer said: "You've got to keep it all in perspective, it's easier now for me to take time away."
"Because of the knee problem and the surgery I had and the six months I took off, it's made it much easier.
"You're happier to take a week off and stay on tour and be healthy rather than be playing, playing, playing and something pops and you are out for the count, maybe forever," he said.
"It is hard emotionally because you wish you could play everything, but in return, I get a more relaxed schedule, I can plan much better with my family, which is super important to me and I can also plan my practices with my coaches and everybody’s rhythm is known. If I want to play more I can always do that.
"If I want to play less, I can do that too. So I feel I have passed the hectic part of my life. Because of the rhythm, I feel everything is quite comfortable. I wish I could play everything but it's not possible," he said.
"I'm more relaxed about my schedule now. I have more time for the family, which is important to me. The hectic part of my life has passed. Even when I have to take time away, I still get something out of it."
The 20-time Grand Slam winner added that it saddened him to skip important tournaments but it was part of growing older.
"Watching from afar is tough. But that's part of growing older, you've got to take care of the body. It's nice to be back and I hope to have a good tournament."