Evergreen Federer still has plenty to achieve
On the face of it, there appears nothing Roger Federer lacks.
The world number one has 16 major titles, the career Grand Slam, more than $50m in career prize money and the seductive-yet-subjective label, applied by many former champions, as the best player of all time.
He is embracing family life with wife, Mirka, and twin daughters, Myla and Charlene, who are seasoned international travellers at nine months old.
Certainly, he is all smiles as we meet in a first-floor room at the Caja Magica in Madrid, completely free of entourage, his white tracksuit top and black baseball cap boasting the now familiar "RF" logo.
He has achieved so much in such a relatively short space of time (he is still only 28) it is sometimes easy to assume he has nothing left to shoot for.
Far from it. Despite some unexpected defeats recently, these are wildly exciting times for Federer as he plots the next phase of his career.
Retirement doesn't even cross his mind.
"No it doesn't and I don't think it should," he tells me in an exclusive interview for BBC Sport. "It's just not something I'm even in the mood to think about because I want to enjoy my time as a player and not talk for years about how I'm going to retire or when I'm going to retire.
"That's why I told the press a few years ago that I'm definitely going to play until the 2012 Olympics, just to give them some sort of timeline. Now people think I'm going to retire at the 2012 Olympics - which is not true! Even though you never know, it depends on your body, but I would like to play beyond that so we'll see how it goes."
Since winning the Australian Open, Federer has suffered with a lung infection and lost to Tomas Berdych, Marcos Baghdatis, Ernests Gulbis and Albert Montanes.
But I detect a definite twinkle beneath those magnificently bushy eyebrows of his as he tells me: "I'm sure my best tennis is just around the corner, I've just got to keep believing. It's a lot of fun right now and I obviously want to do this as long as possible."
Federer will defend his French Open title at the end of the month. Picture AFP
And why not? There are records to chase, prizes to be won and Federer has several diary dates ringed in red ink.
On Monday, 14 June, seven days before the start of Wimbledon, he should overtake Pete Sampras as the longest-serving world number one in rankings history.
Sampras held the top spot for a total of 286 weeks (followed by Lendl on 270 and Connors on 268) but Federer will move ahead on to to 287 weeks, unless he has an appalling French Open.
On Sunday, 19 September, Switzerland should be back in the World Group of the Davis Cup - they have been drawn against Kazakhstan in the play-offs - and Federer will consider whether the time is right to commit to the competition in 2011.
He desperately wants to win the event one day and needs Stan Wawrinka as an able number two, but like Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and others, he chooses his matches carefully to fit around his personal schedule.
Then, of course, there is the aforementioned business in the summer of 2012.
Having won Olympic doubles gold in Beijing and celebrated more wildly than at any time in his career, Federer now dreams of the day he stands on Wimbledon's Centre Court with a singles gold medal around his neck. He will take some stopping.
Twelve months ago, Federer arrived in Spain with a bad back and an eight-month title drought. Then, in the space of three months, his life changed forever as he mopped up in Madrid, Roland Garros and Wimbledon before becoming a father for the first time.
What made the difference?
"There were a couple of things in the belly of my wife's stomach!" he chuckles. "I think that definitely got the ball rolling for me, seeing how well she was doing. That was inspiring for me, seeing her so happy and excited.
"Shortly after losing in the semis of Rome, I went to practice even more, felt great and said 'you know, I think I'm ready to win the Madrid tournament'. I beat Soderling, Blake, Roddick, Del Potro and Nadal. From then I never looked back. I definitely got a bit lucky at times in Paris but it felt like destiny.
"Looking back now, one year ago I didn't have two daughters, I didn't have three more slams and one more slam final. It's quite amazing what has happened in the last year."
He will be in the United Kingdom twice this year. He defends his Wimbledon title in the summer and then plays the season-closing Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in November.
"I'm very excited be going back there. I'm sure it's going to be another wonderful week with the best players competing for the ultimate prize in tennis," says Federer, with PR perfection.
Before we part, there is one question I have been meaning to ask him for many years. It relates to the way his mind works during a rally: How many strokes ahead does he think when he is constructing a point?
"Of course, you know the strengths and weaknesses of your own game, strengths and weaknesses of your opponent's game so you can prepare a point by saying 'OK, I'm going to serve to his backhand and normally the chances are...'
(This is going to get fascinating, you can just tell)
"... and then you put it in per cent and say 'it's probably going to come back to my backhand' and you start to rally like this and then the chances are... But you can't do it before every point. If it doesn't happen the way you thought, you get surprised.
"You have to expect the unexpected in tennis because every opponent is different, there's the lucky shot - the frame, the bounce, the net cord - the elements of the wind, the sun.
"So sometimes it's better to let it go and play shot for shot and just read the situation... compress it all down to the next shot of the next point. When it goes well, you don't ask yourself too many questions. When it goes badly, that's when you start to think too much and that's when it gets complicated."
Phew. How many other sporting superstars would actually take the time to deconstruct their sport like this? A rare pleasure, as always.
And with that our interview concludes. A Croatian TV crew is ushered into the room for the next media instalment.
"Hello," he smiles greeting the pair. "I'm Roger."