Speaking to the press in Shanghai Sunday, Roger Federer shrugged off the death threat that he had received last week.
“So obviously maybe it’s a little bit of a distraction, there’s no doubt about it,” Federer said. “But you have to be aware of what’s happening around you. But that is the case anyway anywhere I go today with my fame and all that stuff.”
Instead Federer shifted the focus on finishing the year No. 1. The Swiss is currently locked in a tight battle for the top spot with Novak Djokovic, the current points race leader. But it isn’t a major goal.
“I hope I will finish World No. 1 at the end of the year,” said Federer. “For me it’s about trying to play well here in Shanghai and go from there. If everything would have been totally focused on World No. 1, I would have gone to Tokyo or Beijing, most likely, and all those things.
“I’ve already reached my goal by getting back to World No. 1 in the summer. That was for me the goal, getting back there and winning a Grand Slam, particularly Wimbledon. I feel very much at peace and I’m happy. I always have to look 12 months ahead, as well, making sure I stay injury free, that I stay hungry for more. This is where if it works out, great, and if it doesn’t, someone else plays better. I am here, so I’ll give it the best shot I can and we’ll see how it goes.”
Federer also spoke about his health after a busy season for the 31-year-old 17-time Slam champion.
“Important is that the body is okay, that the mind is fresh and ready to travel, willing to do the sacrifices and all those things,” Federer said. “I felt like I can handle it. I’m actually kind of fine, but not injured or not tired. So that’s why I decided in the end to come here, because I love playing here in China. I’ve had some amazing weeks here in my life.”
The top seeded Federer opens play either Tuesday or Wednesday against Yen-Hsun Lu or Zhang Ze. He seeks a record 22nd Masters 1000 title. He’ll begin his 299th week at the No. 1 ranking tomorrow.
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