Despite another early round loss, Roger Federer remains upbeat and positive about a season in which he’s earned just one title (Halle), one top 10 win (Tsonga in Australia) and battled a bad back.
“I still feel I’m heading in the right direction,” Federer said yesterday after losing in the third round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters to Gael Monfils. “Honestly, now looking back, I know I took the decision to take the seven‑week break (after Indian Wells) but I couldn’t utilize it the way I wanted to. I was going to have to rest anyway how I felt after Indian Wells, which was really bad. I couldn’t train for two, three weeks after that. t took me some time to get over the issues I had. So that break wasn’t necessarily as helpful as it actually was. But it was planned, but it kind of matched up well with one another.
“But then again, because it’s been a bit more of a quiet year this year, that I didn’t play as many matches, I didn’t have that many tough matches overall, hopefully that’s going to allow me to have more potential maybe to play a bit more next year again. It always goes in phases.”
Federer says he knows the answer to his problems right now, but at 32 can he still execute?
“It’s pretty simple: you just keep on working hard, make sure that you get back on winning ways, then you become confident again, sort of get there,” he went on. “Still losing against good players. The level of play is very good. But important is if you do play the right way and you move the right way, then all of a sudden that margin you don’t have maybe right now, you get it again.”
And now that he’s out of contention for the No. 1 position, Federer admits he’s not interested in the rankings anymore.
“I don’t really care that much about the rankings if I’m not world No.1,” said Federer who is ranked No. 7 this week. “So for me it’s just important to keep on enjoying what I do. I loved my trip here in Shanghai. I mean, Monfils is a quality player, like some others. I lost some other matches this year because I couldn’t really perform at 100%. Probably shouldn’t have played. But I don’t really care having to explain some losses from time to time. I have nothing to say.
“I’m looking forward to Basel now. That’s the next step for me, and hopefully that’s going to go well for me.”
As Federer said, he will now go home to play in Basel, then the Masters 1000 Paris and hope to qualify for the ATP London Finals next month.
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