Roger Federer said Monday he is convinced he can still compete at the pinnacle of the men’s game as he plots to end a rough year on a high by reaching the World Tour Finals.
The Swiss great, who has slipped to seventh in the world rankings after failing to reach a Grand Slam final in 2013, said his aim at the start of the year was to qualify for the end-of-season showpiece in London and nothing had changed. The 32-year-old, who has won just one tournament this year and made early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open, is also seventh in the race to reach next month’s Tour Finals, featuring the season’s best eight players.
“I have no idea right now what the situation is,” said Federer, who has won the event a record six times. “I’m really just focused on my own game, my first-round opponent. That’s all I really need to do. It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for it. I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that.”
Federer, along with the rest of the top eight seeds at this week’s Shanghai Masters, has a bye into the second round but faces a daunting potential quarter-final against defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The Swiss said he had taken time off since the US Open to recharge his batteries, and was now focused on a strong finish to the season and on planning for 2014.Despite a growing debate about when he should retire, Federer, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, said he refused to dwell on recent disappointments.
And he sees no reason why he cannot continue to compete with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray, all significantly younger.