Roger Federer Shanghai Presser: If I Focused Solely On No. 1 I Would Have Played Tokyo Or Beijing
by Tom Gainey | October 8th, 2012, 7:35 pm

Roger Federer met the press in Shanghai on Sunday, talking a wide variety of topic. The Swiss addressed the death threat, talked about the No. 1 race, the prize money issue with the Grand Slams and just how close he was to not playing the Rolex Masters.

Here’s Roger’s presser:

Q. When you dropped your world No.1 ranking after 2010 French Open, it stopped at 285 weeks, just one week short of Sampras’ record, someone mentioned it’s quite romantic. Now it’s not romantic anymore. I’m wondering, at that moment, did you think to yourself, I want this record back, I want to break it, just because you’re too close not to?
ROGER FEDERER: Honestly, it’s hard to remember back.
The thing is obviously I have short‑term goals always. That’s why I’m here, for instance, trying to win the tournament. That’s a short‑term goal. Then you have the long‑term goals. That includes the ranking, which tournaments you want to play, where do you want to practice, what is your health level, harmony in your life.
Back then I was also looking at the big picture. I came out of a tough ’08, ’09, mono, all that stuff. I was just happy being back to world No.1 and hanging on to it. I didn’t do everything I could just to hang onto it. I looked at the big picture then. When it all of a sudden stopped one week short, I didn’t expect that. But it happened.
To me it didn’t mean much because, anyway, I have so much respect for Pete. It didn’t matter if I had that record or not at that moment. I hadn’t retired yet anyway. I just accepted it and said, Okay. When you lose it, you want to get it back right away. That was the plan. Obviously I had to wait for some time.
It was that much sweeter I guess when I did get it back, with Wimbledon, the victory, tying him the next day, then breaking the record the following week. It was very unique, maybe one of the greatest accomplishments of my career.
Yeah, so how it was when I lost my No.1 ranking back then, it was definitely a bit of a surprise how it all happened very quickly. Think I lost my ranking to Rafa. He deserved to be world No.1 then, so there’s no arguing with that.

Q. It’s not been the easiest buildup to this tournament. Can I ask you about the death threat situation? When did you first hear about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Probably about 10 days ago. So then obviously it came out in the press. That’s when things changed. It became much more public, which I’m a bit disappointed about, that it did come out in the press. It was something just very small on a website, nothing clear and concrete, people just debating. That it makes that big news is a bit surprising to me.
But obviously it’s been a different type of preparation. I’d like not to talk too much about it. I felt very safe here. The authorities have been wonderful. The government has been very supportive, made me feel extremely welcome. I felt great the whole time I’ve been here.
Obviously, like you mentioned, it’s been a different kind of last few days than other tournaments in the past. But I’m happy I am here after all.

Q. Your wife and family are back at home; you didn’t bring them with you?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. But that was decided before it became public. I knew about it already. It was a last‑minute decision for me to come here in the first place. I knew about everything that was going on.
The family decision had nothing to do with the threats.

Q. You wouldn’t describe it as a distraction at all, the threat? It hasn’t distracted you from your buildup or anything like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it’s just a buildup. It’s not the matches. The matches are still a few days away. I’m happy I arrived here in time to get used to the conditions, get used to maybe the jetlag, potentially a small one.
It’s always going to be busy here for me regardless, which is a good thing I think. It keeps my mind occupied and busy. Obviously I want to make sure I practice enough so I’m playing well when the matches come around.
So obviously maybe it’s a little bit of a distraction, there’s no doubt about it. 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.
But it’s been okay. It’s been fine. I feel I have a good preparation starting Tuesday or Wednesday.

Q. You talked about long‑term and short‑term goals. In many ways, it’s been a vintage year for tennis. All four of the big players have won a slam. How much does it mean to you to secure the year‑end world No.1 ranking?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, I hope I will finish world No.1 at the end of the year. 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.
For me 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, plus the Olympic gold medal is a big thing for me as well.
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.

Q. Talking about world No.1, you mentioned looking 12 months ahead. After Andy Murray won in New York, one of his goals was to get to world No.1 by being consistent over the next 12 months. How do you think his game is? Do you think he can achieve that goal over the next 12 months?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, he can. He should be able to have that goal. It would be very wrong if he said, I want to be world No. 2 now (smiling).
He’s saying the right things. He has results that back up his chances to become world No.1, maybe even at the end of the year, maybe at the beginning of the next year. If not then, he’s got a shot till next year’s Wimbledon almost if he were to win there. His next nine months are going to be extremely interesting to follow.
I think he’s done so well, I said it right off the bat, his reaction was amazing right after not winning Wimbledon against me, then coming back and winning the Olympics, still battling it out through Toronto and Cincinnati, then bringing the victory home, his first Grand Slam, at the US Open. Very impressed, great to see.
I’m sure it’s going to give him confidence for what’s to come, then of course it is going to have maybe an impact in the future. When is Rafa going to come back, when, how strong? How well am I going to play? How well is Novak going to play? The rest of the players. That all has a little bit of an impact.
But overall he has some control over that himself now, and I hope for him he can achieve it eventually.

Q. How do you feel right now?
ROGER FEDERER: I feel fine. Look, I had some time off. I didn’t have a big buildup. It was more just trying to maintain my fitness level, playing some tennis while I was not at tournaments.
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.
It was a close call. I must admit, if I was going to be able to do it, because if I don’t play here, I get an extra two weeks off. That’s also very interesting for what’s to come for the rest of the year and next year as well.
I felt like I can handle it. I don’t like to just pull out. 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.
I do appreciate all the support I get here. I didn’t want to miss it. I really tried to keep my schedule as flexible as I could so I could come to Shanghai. I’m very relieved and happy now that I’m here.
Now that I’m here, I want to play well and go deep into the tournament. The focus is clearly on the first round, making sure I find my way into the tournament first.

Q. Just about the players’ meeting yesterday. What was the mode of the meeting? Was it triumphant militant, after the announcement of the prize money increase in Australia?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it’s nice to see, you know, the Grand Slams talking to us, feel sort of partners out there. I think that’s a very important feeling from all the players, that you feel the Grand Slams do care about the product of the men’s game, or tennis in general, about what we also bring to the table. I think that’s important that they recognize that. We feel, by sitting across from them, there is that.
So from there on we can move forward, either good or bad. But at least we are talking and we’re having conversations.
Now, I think the next nine months or so will be very interesting just to see what’s going to happen. I think the communication has been very good within the players, which is important at that stage because there’s a lot of information coming from the slams, from our opinions, from the council, from the board, so forth.
So it’s been an interesting process, to say the least. But, yeah, I’m happy how yesterday went in terms of the communication with the players. Then we’ll see what the slams are willing to do.
Nothing is clear from this end. It was good to see the Australian Open making their move, showing that they truly care about us, the players. Now we’ll see where it takes us from here.

Q. They’ve set the bar pretty high. Presumably that gives you quite a bit of leverage with the other slams.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, not sure. We’ll see. Yeah, the question is, Are we that extremely happy with the Australian Open? It was nice to see they have made a move. Is it significant enough? I’m not sure. We’ll see how things play out in the next nine months.

Q. I heard somewhere that you mentioned you still have four to five years left in you.
ROGER FEDERER: I understood ’45’ (laughter).

Q. We wish.
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t think people want to see me for 45 more years (smiling).
I’d love to play for a long time. That’s what I mentioned. I need to look ahead if I want to stay in the game for a long time. I need to manage my schedule extremely well.
It’s interesting times in my life right now, managing everything that’s happening. So far I think I’ve done so well. I’m sitting here at world No.1. It’s amazing after all that’s happened to me in the last three years, in the last 15 years since I made my first ATP points. It’s been a great journey and I hope I can continue it for hopefully many more years.

And his ATP pre tournament interview:

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47 Comments for Roger Federer Shanghai Presser: If I Focused Solely On No. 1 I Would Have Played Tokyo Or Beijing

Humble Rafa Says:

Yea, if your Humble Highness wanted to be injury free, he would never step on a tennis court either.

Alok Says:

It’s not good for Nadal’s image to get beaten by low ranked players at tournaments he should win or at least be a finalist. It’s obvious that after Wimbledon the tour is focused on tournaments which are very challenging for Nadal, and he will only end up getting beaten repeatedly. This type of situation is bad for Nadal’s self-condidence, his ego, sponsors and fan base.

Nadal has called for an end to the season due to his weaknesses, and it has nothing to do with rest for the players. If that were so, why would he be playing golf and participating in other physical endeavors?

Calling for a shortening of the season benefits those who want the season to end in many ways. The most important being ranking points. Those who want rest can do so, and no one is stopping them, except their peers. Those players who don’t want to rest, will be playing and collecting those much available ranking points, and pulling ahead of Nadal in the rankings. This happened in 2010, when Djokovic added to his tally by playing and winning several tournaments that were without top 4 participation. At that time Djokovic supported a shortened season but he continued to play.

If the last quarter of the season were covered with clay tournaments, I doubt it very much that Nadal would be calling for a shortened season.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

‘ere we go again!!!!!

Just two posts on a Federer thread, both about Nadal. What more proof do we need that Nadal is the most talked about and popular player on tennis-x.

Giles Says:

@Alok. Just in case you haven’t been reading the Press, Rafa’s doctors have given him the OK to play golf and err what “other physical endeavours” are you referring to???

Jerilee86 Says:

The same would have happened if there was an article about Nadal. You are kidding when you said Nadal was the most talked about in tennis right? Coz during Uncle Toni’s interview so many questions were asked about Federer than Nadal that he was disappointed.

Goonie Says:

Reading between the lines of Roger’s statements over the past months, I get the impression that
a) keeping the #1 position until year-end is secondary, but nice to have obviously;
b) he would love to pass the baton of #1 rather to Murray than to Djokovic;
c) he is planning to give the Ausstralian Open a try, as it may enable him to win back #1 in case he loses it over the next weeks – but he himself doesn’t expect that much to achieve there;
d) he rather hopes (as per b) that Murray will win, making it easier for himself to pass through the next months without winning as much as last year, as Murray and Djokovic will take points from each other – especially as Murray is likely to focus instead of failing like last year;
e) he still would very much love to win at the French Open against Nadal – to an extent that it may become his primary focus coming spring, if he feels good enough about it. Otherwise he may move to goal f);
f) he targets a win at Wimbledon one more time;
g) he may retire from the full circuit in 2013 – after ten years of leading the tennis world (with hiccups);
h) he may however keep playing certain events for the next two years – with the thought that it may be easier for him to slip lower in the ranks and face high-ranked opponents in earlier rounds, bearing in mind he would probably win against them anyway (unless top 4) in earllier rounds. I’m not sure about this last point though.

Sienna Says:

Alok October 8th, 2012 at 11:17 pm

There are two possibilities for Rafa lacklustre performance rate at the buss. end of 2012.

1. There is the silent ban forn 6 months. Even though there are many unbiased circumstances which give cause to believe that ban exists.

2. The more obvious reasion is what you point out his lack of blief he could do well in this part of the year.

If he loses to #100 in such a way that the team believed he didnot have much chance in the tourney to come. ANd

Sienna Says:

meant to say And with chance I mean the possibilitie to run deep in the tournements. like quarters, semi or finals. If Nadal loses 4/5 tournements in a row before final weekend then his aura which was so formidable made by the team starts to diminish very quickly.

In this way they have saved his image for another year because they expect himto perform well on clay.

It is essentially about money and sponsordeals.

sienna Says:

Guys and gals,
Dont be alarmed or upset that we discuss Rafa on a Fed threat.

Rafa hardly has any article worth mentioning on a sound tennis site. So it is only fitting to discuss his unwillingness to play tennis on a threat from the passionate one.

What roger seem to have inabundance nadal is lacking.
Besides Rafa is the greatest #2 in the history of the game because of Roger.

alison Says:

Alok the threads about Roger and the No 1 ranking,your entitled to your opinion but whats any of that got to do with Rafa and the shortening of the season,this topics old news its not going to happen anyway,be nice if people could stick to the conversation in question,why drag Nadal into each and every conversation,when this has nothing to do with him.

nadalista Says:

^^^^because he’s got Nadal on his mind all the time, that’s what…………..

Giles Says:

Alok. BTW worry about your own image and Rafa will worry about his!

subo Says:

nadal should be back get off the juice nadal stop cheating injuries and dope go together he should be drug tested a lot where the hell is the atp

skeezer Says:

“Yes, he can. He should be able to have that goal. It would be very wrong if he said, I want to be world No. 2 now (smiling).”

Good one Fed ;)

Kudos to the players and prez of the players(Maestro) for getting more dollars for the players at AO. Great job Fedster!

Ronald Gaines Says:

I really enjoyed reading this article on Roger Federer. He is a very humble player who never disparages his competition. I was saddened to hear that he had received death threats recently. I hope that he will be able to play professionally for at least 5 more years.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Rafa has overtaken Serena as the player with the most followers on twitter. He’s got 3,205,565 to Serena’s 3,202,699.

Sienna Says:

Wow rafa making such a big deal of twitter this really is not a good sign for him.

Mens tennis is far more popular then womens tennis and only now he has overtaken Serena in the numbers. His popularity must be soso especially among non hispanic people.

This shows the dwindling popularity of Rafa. The once or so called warrior/

Rafael Says:

That’s only because El Mago is not on twitter.

check out their face book numbers. Numero Uno Roger Federer!

another thing 9 consecutive times ATP fan favorite.

The biggest star tennis has had since Bjorn Borg – The Swiss Maestro.

another gift for nadal fans – there are reports that nadal is planning to retire at 2016 Rio. go google it out.

Rafael Says:

If Li Na takes to twitter, rafa will be nowhere in comparison to her.

Another thing – Lady Gaga has more twitter followers than mr. nadlina! just saying for those who think twitter followers is the best indicator of popularity [ infact she has 10 times as many followers as nadlina]

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Federer’s got only 180,624 twitter followers.

Rafael Says:

so, rafa fans have started resorting to lies to show rafa in better light? and they wonder why people accuse him of being a doper and cheater? LOL!

Get this straight! Federer has no twitter account!
stop making a joker out of yourself!

Rafael Says:

This is what happens when people older than my grandma want to act like they are in the youth of their life.

Do you know how twitter works? not every twitter handle with federer’s name is Roger Federer! LOL!

sienna Says:

Rafael LOL

skeezer Says:


Oh yeah?

Well I have a Rafa app, and everytime I turn my phone on it says Vamos!! and says “Twitter me” when I turn the volume on. So in Love….*swoon*

Just goes to show the difference between Tennis fans who actually are into Tennis and those who are into “I wish he was mine”.

#Sucha hunkahunka

alison Says:

Sienna Rafa has hardly any article worth mentioning on a sound tennis site,if thats the case then why mention him?

alison Says:

yet another thread has turned into a Fedal war so tedious and tiresome.

sienna Says:

Dont be so defensive Alison.

Kimmi Says:

ha ha ha ha!!

Alok Says:

LOl@skeezer, #Sucha hunkahunka.

You guys are soooo funny.

Fedal wars will always be around, so get used to it.

Giles Says:

Rafael. Nadal has officially become the most followed TENNIS PLAYER on twitter. The comparison in numbers is with other tennis players. So, why do you mention Lady Gaga? Is she a tennis player?

Alok Says:


FYI, I don’t write to please anyone, and don’t care how angelic you are, but coming after me for commenting on this thread is just lame, IMO. Who sticks to the topic?Do you? always?

Sorry to disappoint ya, but the shortenend season, and Nadal’s aura is not old news. It’s all about what’s happening with Nadal right now. His fans should get used to it as it’s been happening for years, this end of eason scene.

Sorry to disappoint but I don’t have Nadal on my mind at all. That’s for you gals who day-dream and would like to think sweet Rafa is your BF.

Alok Says:


FYI, I don’t write to please anyone, and don’t care how angelic you are, but coming after me for commenting on this thread is just lame, IMO. Who sticks to the topic?Do you? always?

Sorry to disappoint ya, but the shortenend season, and Nadal’s aura is not old news. It’s all about what’s happening with Nadal right now. His fans should get used to it as it’s been happening for years, this end of eason scene.

Sorry to disappoint but I don’t have Nadal on my mind at all. That’s for you gals who day-dream and would like to think sweet Rafa is your BF.

LOL, now we’re into who has more followers on twitter? As I said in my post, Nadal’s gotta protect his fan base and diminished aura, but twitter is just a sorry, desperate attempt to salvage something that’s already happening, even as we speak or write. If Nadal wants to add to his fan base, he’s gotta stop getting rosolled and start playing tennis. whatever happened to his racket doing the talking? It looks like that ain’t or won’t be happening for a lot longer. Who knows when he gets back how badly he’ll get beaten again?

Alok Says:

apologies for the double post. dunno what happenend.

Giles Says:

Sienna. FYI Nadal has had a twitter account since July 2011 and had in excess of 50,000 followers within half an hour. Serena has had a twitter account since forever! #everybodylovesrafa. Including you – you can’t hide it anymore! Ahhh!! Dream on!

alison Says:

Sienna im not getting defensive ill leave that to you.

Sienna Says:

FYI what are you trying to proof with the twitter account.

Rafa makes a big deal form twitter so he has more followers then Serena? Just barely.

Mens tennis is immense more popular then womens tennis so it would have been fitting if he had more followers a lot sooner.

Just imagine the impact if TMF would go on twitter.

He would break 3 million in a heartbeat.

alison Says:

Alok sorry to dissapoint you,but i dont have Nadal on my mind either,my life does not revolve around Nadal or tennis for that matter,i might be a fan of the guy,but contrary to what you think not all woman are interested in a tennis player for their look,and just for the record i actually like to watch many other players too,as for twitter i dont care about who has more followers on twitter,ive never been a fan of twitter anyway,and when did you actually here me mention twitter anyway?and im not trying to sound all angelic im just giving an honest opinion.

alison Says:

Alok just to let you know im a happily married woman,with a gorgeous husband to whom ive been married to for nearly twenty five years,and believe me Rafa could not hold a candal to him,so i dont need a BF thanks very much.

Sienna Says:

Nadal is a true housewife pleaser.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

If Rafa is so insignificant, why spend so much time talking about him? Are you so scared that Rafa is overshadowing Roger? Rafa is not playing at the moment yet you just can’t stop talking about him. Sienna has no subject other than Rafa and Fedfans claim to have a monopoly on discussing tennis. Alok and Sienna have a serious case of Vamos syndrome.

There is a Masters Series tournament going on right now, and who is being discussed all over the tennis blogoshere, a player that is out of circulation at the moment.

steve-o Says:

I’m glad he hasn’t let some silly threats affect him. He has a healthy attitude towards the #1 ranking and it seems he is sensibly prioritizing his physical well-being over getting a few more ranking points.

C’mon Roger!

jamie Says:

“Rafa is overshadowing Roger?”

Not really.

Unless you mean at RG? At Rome? Monte Carlo?

alison Says:

Im not a housewife as i actually work for a living,unfortunatly i cannot affaord to be a housewife.

dari Says:

Watching the fed- Lu match now. How do I love fed tennis!

sienna Says:

I am glad alison. women fought to hard to be put aside like that. now it is time to educate the rest of the world.

alison Says:


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