17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer may have lost an entertaining three set battle to world No. 2 Novak Djokovic in the final of the BNP Paribas Open, yet he feels greatly encouraged about his chances next week in Miami and beyond.
“I got very, very close,” Federer said about his loss to Djokovic. “It’s encouraging for Miami and for the rest of the season, no doubt.”
The former world No. 1 was seeking his fifth title at Indian Wells, as well as his 22nd ATP Masters 1000 title. It would also have been his second title of the season so far, having won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February. Considering his disappointing season in 2013, Federer is now pleased to finally “be playing well again.”
“A few weeks ago, months ago, a few people said I couldn’t play tennis anymore,” Federer said. “So for me I need to focus on my own game, my own routines, hard work, make sure I keep a good schedule for myself, for my family and enjoy it.“At the same time, that fire, wanting to win, is important and right now I have that. I think I have a really good balance right now.”
Having reached the final of the season-opening Masters 1000 event, Federer has returned world No. 5 for the first time since June, 2013. Having sunk as low as No.8 in the rankings over the past few months, the Swiss icon can focus on furthering his achievements in the 2014 season and potentially regaining the top spot in the rankings.
“You don’t just forget how to play tennis. Age is just a number. It’s nothing more, really. That’s how I see it, anyway.”
Federer is scheduled to compete at the Sony Open in Miami, which takes place between March 19-30.