Roger Federer: No. 1 Is Not My Focus Right Now, Novak’s Too Far Ahead
by Tom Gainey | June 22nd, 2015, 10:20 am
  • 24 Comments

Roger Federer defended his title in Halle yesterday for his 8th crown at the event. The Swiss, though, is still far behind the rankings at No. 2 almost 4,200 points from No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

But Federer says, if he wins Slams he can make things interesting at the top.

“No. 1 is not my focus right now, too far away of it,” Federer said. “But things can obviously change very quickly but the second half of the season I’ve got tons of points to defend myself. But if you do win Slams naturally you’re going to get closer and if you don’t win them you go further away from World No. 1. It’s pretty simple. But my focus is about just being happy and winning here now, going on to Wimbledon, you know take tournament one after another and not think too far ahead.”

Because of Federer’s so-so results in Slams, he’s down at No. 4 in the ATP Race, almost 4,300 points behind Djokovic.

The eight wins in Halle are the most Federer’s won at any event.

“It’s the first time I’ve won a tournament eight times – and overall, at one of my favourite tournaments. It was a really good match. My serve saved me a couple of times in the first set. To win here is always special,” he said.

Federer now heads to Wimbledon seeking his first Slam since his won there in 2012. But thanks to his fourth title of the season, his confidence is high.

“This week has been great when I look at the whole thing,” said Federer. “I don’t think I was broken in the last four matches I played,” the Swiss said. “It gives me confidence in the crucial moments to know my game was right there.”


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24 Comments for Roger Federer: No. 1 Is Not My Focus Right Now, Novak’s Too Far Ahead

Okiegal Says:

Yes, that would be lots of worry for a lost cause. Roger always has his head on straight…..I have to admit! 33 and still rockin’ it!!


MMT Says:

I thought Federer was very shaky in the first set against Seppi, and was lucky to escape that set with a win. Where I think he’s doing quite well is the return of serve – that’s the deciding factor on grass, in my opinion, and it has been pretty good this week.


jane Says:

didnt see it MMT but fed felt his return was his downfall in the clay matches he lost; i know he said that openly about his loss to kyrgios but i thought he mentioned it after the stan loss too, or maybe it was commentators discussing stats. anyhow, that’s a turn-around if his return is now clicking. maybe it’s something about grass.


MMT Says:

On the plus side of playing on grass – presumably his serve should be equally assisted by the surface as his opponents (he thought he didn’t get broken the whole week, if I’m not mistaken) and since most players don’t have as good a return as he does, the advantage goes to him on grass. But that is not the case with the top players he could face on grass (like Djokovic, Murray or Nadal) so he may have a better chance of getting through the draw to a top player, if he comes across someone who returns well, his serve won’t help him as much – therefore, he better come with is A return game if he wants to win Wimbledon. One of the reasons he had so much success against Roddick was his ability to neutralize the American’s serve on a surface where it should have been an irresistible force – because he frequently out aced him, I think it’s clear his key success factor, especially at Wimbledon, is in what he can do on the return of serve.


steve-o Says:

MMT: I don’t think luck had much to do with it, but rather the champion’s ability to play his best tennis at the crucial moments despite not being in his absolute best form on the day.

Seppi was indeed the better player for most of the first set, but Federer aced away the two set points he faced in the first set. Then in the tiebreak, he made an aggressive return which allowed him to strike a clean forehand winner–maybe the second or third he’d hit all match. His forehand had been very erratic during the set, but he went for that one without hesitation, going for the lines, and made it. Then he followed with a brilliant all-court point, finished off with a perfect volley, and then an ace. With the 3-0 lead, he was able to keep the pressure up on Seppi, who was so shaken that he double-faulted the set away. None of those points were luck.

Sometimes, Federer plays what appears to be average tennis, just enough to get by, and then at the key moment he elevates and then stops missing for about two or three minutes. Once he has the crucial game or set, then he goes back to conserving his energy, or, if the finish line is in sight, he may use the momentum to try to get the early break.

Maybe he was a little tired that day, I don’t know, or maybe out of sorts, but he found a way to win.

jane: agreed regarding the return game, which has cost him in several big matches, Wimbledon last year, IW and Rome and RG this year. Hopefully this year he can raise it on grass. He was certainly doing pretty well against Seppi, at least in the second set.


Daniel Says:

Agree ref return of serve on grass. The main focus js put the ball back in play and Fed has a lot of variety on return, sometimea is short, close to the net, sometimea he drive, he can use dtl and close to the serve feet. This is another area where Djoko excells. Many sau he is not too confortable on grass but his return is so good thag he’ll always have chances. If he is sering great than he is safe.

Murray also return excellent on grass but sometimea his inconsistency serving cause him trouble. Even Ferrer won title on grass before thanks to hos return.

All the guys who return well had great reuslts on grass, at least once and the big serves it all depends on they hitting their stride and avoiding the best returners, as was the case woth Jerry j 2 years ago.


Hippy Chick Says:

Feds right Novak has the number 1 ranking stitched up for the foreseeable,the rest are fighting for RU spot,Rogers sensible in that hes focusing on winning tournies especially the GS,Rafa said the same a few months back….


Rich Says:

I don’t think Roger should focus on #1 or on Grand Slam tournament wins, he should channel his efforts on winning 500 level tournaments, especially those with weak fields, and maintaining the $50 million plus/year endorsements he is raking in.

#1, or 2, or 3, or any Slam win at this point just doesn’t appear to me to be realistic. If he still enjoys the tour, which it appears he does, he should focus on winning, whatever, even if it’s just Halle or Hamburg or Washington, so he stays visible and making those Sharapova-level Euros.


Gee Says:

Fred had years of youth because Novak was nagged by the yellow journalism sleeze media and antics of hateful trolls like Fred and *snickers Andy roddick. There were free rides for fred to do anything he desired, so don’t cry over his elderly creaking back. * vomits I love how Fred gives backhanded compliments about “novak’s joke health, bad behavior and new wonderful attitude” like fred was novak’s paternal doctor.


addicted Says:

@Rich – Why is #2 and #3 unrealistic for someone who is currently ranked 2nd?

That makes no sense at all.


sienna Says:

He is actually talking about nadal.


Jeff Says:

Forget being no.1 Just win one more slam and that will do


SG1 Says:

I think Fed’s playing for one more major or next year’s Olympics, whichever comes first. Can’t see Federer playing beyond 2016. At that point, one way or another, there will be nothing left for him to accomplish.


SG1 Says:

Unless of course, he believes he can remain in the top 5 until he’s 40 which would be a pretty awesome (…though somewhat farfetched) achievement.


madmax Says:

Rich,

Your comments are pretty pathetic when it comes to Federer, “with weak fields?” – Oh.My.Goodness. Check you out Rich!

Let him play the 500s and the 250 tournaments, like Rafa and Andy – there is no shame in that. Some of you guys went crazy when Rafa won some 250 tournament in South America this year!

Federer is looking super skinny to me, very fit, and very agile and athletic on court. His movement against Seppi, I thought was fabulous.

Seppi too, was brilliant from the outset. Haven’t seen him play that well since the beginning of the year. It was not an easy match.

Allez Federer! Allez!


Rich Says:

ADDICTED: I think #2 or #3 rankings are unrealistic going forward for Federer. His ranking is inflated since Murray and Nadal were hurting/recovering during much of 2014, and we currently have a void below Novak that Nishikori, Berdych, Dimitrov, etc. have been unable to fill. I do not think this will last, with the young guns coming (Kyrgios, Coric, Rublev, Kokkinakis, Zverev). Federer may be able to keep his ranking close to the top 3, if he plays a lot, a la the Wozniacki/Jankovic approach, otherwise, I don’t believe.

MADMAX: Personal criticisms like “pretty pathetic” are unnecessary and juvenile; I would hope you think more highly of yourself than that. I have no problem with Federer focusing on 250s and 500s; in fact, I recommended it in my post above. Federer didn’t face a player in the top 20 in Halle, and was lucky even to get out of round 1. ZERO SHOT at Wimbledon, almost no shot at any future Slam. But he’s making $50 million plus per year, so great for him.


skeezer Says:

Lol..,Feds ranking is not inflated. He earned it. You have to be fit, show up to play, work hard, and win more more matches than the field. Apparently the “field” didn’t do itas well as the 33 soon to be 34 yr old Maestro.


skeezer Says:

SG1 – 12:40 post
Agree.


sienna Says:

Yeah madmax great observation. federer is super lean these days. funny that even the new ATP site weighs him at 85 Kg just like 2006. I’m sure that cannot be true.
It has cost him some strength I guess but his speed is still great as well as footwork. He is gonna turn it on at wimbly I’m sure he played well within his limits to beat first Dr Ivo and Seppi.

high expectation especially when his serve gets more consistent which I feel will happen.


Chilli Says:

Federer has 2 records he could achieve tho this one is a bit far out
Jimmy Conners 109 titles Federer 86
But this one reachable
Jimmy Conners 1253 matches won
Federer 1030
If Federer plays 3 more years
Say 16 competitions a year , reaches quarter finals


addicted Says:

@Rich

Federer is ranked 4th in the ATP Race, going into his favorite GS (where he took Djokovic to 5 sets in the finals). The race completely ignores 2014 results. Nadal, OTOH, is ranked #8 in the race, after having completed the clay swing, where he racks up the vast majority of his points. Barring another surprising USO 2013 style year, Nadal is likely to remain behind Federer.

Wawrinka hasnt done anything on Grass and USO in the past, so Federer is almost certainly going to be top 4 at the end of the year. Further, he is very likely to be ahead of Nadal and be in the top 3. He has a tough battle to beat Murray at 2, but it is certainly possible (he need not even beat him, but simply needs to get lucky and have Murray land on the opposite side of the draw), and is a very plausible goal to aim for.

#1 is technically possible, but in reality not reachable, because Novak has locked it up tight, which is why Federer is rightly ignoring it.

And this is all assuming that the injury prone players you are defending dont get injured again this year.


Emily Says:

Novak has the #1 ranking, whether he defends all of his Wimbledon points or not. Roger has more to defend then Andy w/ Cincy and Canada masters, and he did better then Murray in these next two grand slams, so there may be a fight for the #2 ranking.

What makes this interesting is that Rafa has basically no points to defend for the rest of the season, and while he may not get back into the top 4, he can do well on the hard court. Also, Stan has now already defended all of his points for the rest of the year and if he focuses more on playing well in the Masters, he would keep his current ranking.

BTW, @addicted, Stan has done well in the past at the USO. 5 set semi against Novak in 2013, quarters a few times, and I’m pretty sure he had only made one quarter at the French, at least, before he won the tournament.


jalep Says:

@Emily. I know you are Stan’s biggest fan here.

I’m not saying Stan was a slouch before winning AO at age 29. He had lots of great results plus that Gold Medal with Roger in Beijing.

He just didn’t have many big titles or appear to be a futre GS winner – would not have ever picked him for that anyway. Now look at him!

I have a link up to a Tennis-x Wimbledon Bracket challenge. Will have one for both ATP and WTA, if you are interested. It’s on Global Tennis Network.


Purcell Says:

Rich: I’m at Wimbledon on Thursday so if I see Roger I’ll pass on your recommendations. Got your armchair ready?

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