With his spot secured in the Barcalys ATP World Tour Finals, many wondered whether Roger Federer would feel the need to compete at the Shanghai Rolex Masters this week, particularly following his participation in the Davis Cup tournament.
While the 17-time Grand Slam champion considered it, he decided it was would be best for him to make the lengthy trip over and compete at the tournament.
“After Davis Cup I was on vacation, relaxing,” Federer said in a pre-tournament press conference. “Obviously it’s always easy on vacation, I’m happy on vacation, I can extend my vacation, I can extend my practice, all that. It would be very easy to skip this here because the family didn’t travel with me here. So I miss them clearly.”
While it was not an easy decision for Federer to leave his growing family behind for the week, he felt obliged to give back to the city and fans that have been with him for the past 12 years. His history with the event dates back to 2002, well before the event was even named the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
“It’s a one‑off tournament for me to travel around the world and back. There’s easier things to do than that. But I felt like I’d like to play this tournament for the reasons you mentioned, for the fans. I’m emotionally attached to this event. I did open the stadium here in 2004. I was here when the Masters Cup was here in 2002. So I go way back with this city, this event, with the people who work for it. I’m always going to try to do best effort to come.”
While Federer had unveiled a lengthy final quarter to his season, one that would include Davis Cup and the IPTL in the off-season, he admits that much of his schedule will depend on his performance throughout the week in Shanghai.
“I said, Let me play Shanghai and see how I feel once I come back after Shanghai. There still might be some adjustments made to my schedule moving forward. For that, I definitely need to play well here for that to happen. If I don’t play well, I guess I can also play everything. It’s a bit up in the air, the next month or so. I’ll go sort of day by day.”
“The World Tour Finals is huge for me, a big goal. It’s what I wanted to qualify for. It’s where I’ve played so well in previous years. I don’t know how many times I’ve qualified in a row now, but it’s always been a very special event for me throughout my career, ever since I qualified here in 2002 for the first time, I guess. Davis Cup, yeah, I mean, it’s there, I’m aware of it. But my focus now has switched back to the ATP Tour really.”
Federer is scheduled to begin his week in Shanghai on Wednesday against the winner between Leonardo Mayer and Di Wu.