Roger Federer (Player Bio) is vying for a qualifying spot in Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the twelfth time in his storied career, having won the year-end championships a record six times. The Swiss goes into the Swiss Indoor tournament next week in eighth place in the Race To London. He will be looking to claim just his second ATP title of the season and put himself in a much stronger position heading into the Paris Masters the week after next.
Prior to his hometown Basel ATP 500 tournament, Federer expressed regret for playing with back problems at the Indian Wells Masters in March as well as Hamburg and Gstaad in July, when he returned to experiment with a larger racquet frame.
“With hindsight, I shouldn’t have done.”The 17-time Grand Slam champion stated. “They were errors.”
The Swiss legend is adamant that he is “physically and mentally” prepared to possibly play 15 matches in the next three weeks at Basel, Paris and year-end championships in London. Federer will begin his bid on in Basel against World No. 60 Adrian Mannarino. He has a 47-8 record in his hometown tournament and has won the title in 2006-08 and 2010-11.
“I definitely think it’s an advantage playing at home. I’m here to try and play well and qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, but the focus is totally on this tournament. I’ll take it step-by-step this week in Basel and in Paris. Mentally, I’m starting to focus on the first match and I hope it’s going to go well for me.”
Federer was able to win all three tournaments in 2011, yet when he was asked if is capable of repeating the hat trick this year, he candidly admit:
“I don’t know if my level of play is strong enough to do it now.”
The former World No. 1 has had one of his poorest seasons to date in 2013 ,where he won just one title Halle and failed to make one of the four Grand Slam quarter-finals for the first time since 2004, when he exited Wimbledon (2nd round) and the US Open (fourth round) in disappointing fashion. It is also the first time since 2002 that he does not reach a Grand Slam final.
Federer has no timeline set for his retirement, stating that he would be interested in competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but will continue to play as long as he remains healthy and competitive. He makes clear that his poor performances over the past six months have no impact on his plans to continue playing on the ATP tour.
“As long as my body and mind is ready to go to travel, I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing, I’m successful. I’ll be playing for some time and that hasn’t changed due to a tough six months right now.”