It has been yet another disappointing tournament for Roger Federer (Bio). The former World No. 1 was shockingly eliminated from the third round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters following a three-set loss to dazzling Frenchman Gael Monfils (Bio). The loss adds to a sorely disappointing season f0r one of the greatest players in tennis history as he failed to capture his first Masters 1000 title of the season. Now with only two torunaments left in the 2013 season, Federer is in a tough spot as he attempts to regain valuable points heading into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November. If Federer does not make the draw, it will be his first absence from the year-end championships in a decade.
The 32-year-old, who has won the Tour Finals a record six times, came into the Shanghai Masters with extra motivation to perform at his best simply to make what he considers to be “the best tournament out there.”
“It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for [London].” Federer said before the start of the tournament. ” I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that,”
Federer appeared visibly shaken during the opening stages of his third round contest against Monfils and did not play with the confidence that had become a part of his persona. He lost the opening set 6-4 and was close to losing in straight set before recovering to win the final four points in the tiebreak. While he was able to save himself in the second set, the Frenchman continued to pressure Federer and forced another break of serve to close out the match 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.
“I had chances early on in the third set I think to make something happen. He kind of recovered, then started to serve a bit better again towards the end of the third set, which made it difficult for me. It’s a bit of an up and down performance for me.”
The 17-time Grand Slam champion still has several opportunities to snatch a late qualifying spot in the finals if he is able to regroup and produce strong performances in Basel as well as the final Master tournament of the season in Paris. While the spot is not guaranteed even with a strong showing, considering countryman Stanislas Wawrinka overtook him today in seventh place in the Emirates ATP Race To London, Federer is still motivated to reach the year-end championships.
“I’m just going to focus on trying to play well. I’m just going to try to have a good tournament in Basel and Paris. In the end, if I get the invite, I’ll be there.”
To add to Federer’s slim chances, World No. 3 Andy Murry had officially announced that he would not be participating in the World Tour Finals due to having back surgery last month. While Roger does not want to rely on fluke luck to make the finals, he admits he will take any opportunity he gets.
“I hope I don’t have to rely on it. If I have to, I have to. But that’s not really what I want.”
Considering Federer has been a part of the World Tour Finals since 2002, and is still undoubtedly one of the elite players in the sports, it would be a downright shame for the 6-time year-end champion does not make the cut for the tournament.