Federer looks for home advantage in London push

Roger Federer is looking to use the home advantage next week at the Swiss Indoors Basel as he bids to secure his place in the eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The Swiss goes into the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in eighth place in the Emirates ATP Race To London, with the top nine set to qualify after Andy Murray’s withdrawal. The 32-year-old Federer is a six-time champion at the season finale and is bidding to qualify for the 12th consecutive time.

"I definitely think it's an advantage playing at home,” said Federer. “I'm here to try and play well and qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, but the focus is totally on this tournament. I'll take it step-by-step this week in Basel and in Paris. Mentally, I'm starting to focus on the first match and I hope it's going to go well for me.”

Federer has a 47-8 record in his hometown tournament, winning the title in 2006-08 and 2010-11. The right-hander is looking to win his second ATP World Tour title of the season and put himself in a strong position to qualify going into the final event of the regular season, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Paris.

One of the players in Federer’s way of qualifying is his countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, with whom he won the 2008 doubles gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Wawrinka is currently in seventh place in the Emirates ATP Race To London and is looking to qualify for the season finale for the first time on the back of a career-best season, which has seen him reach his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open (l. to Djokovic).

"I'll be happy if Stan qualifies,” said Federer. “If that means I'll miss it, [I accept that]. It means he was the better player for the year. I'm always happy for his results. I don't see it as a rivalry as such. We'll see at the end of Paris how it's all going to pan out. But clearly with Murray not playing it gives an extra spot and a little more air for both of us. I hope he can play a great tournament.”

Federer is playing his first tournament since the news emerged of his split from coach Paul Annacone. Speaking to assembled media on Sunday, Federer explained, “We had a great working relationship and a great friendship as well. That's something I know is going to continue. We're still in touch almost every other day.

“We talked a lot. It was always important to communicate about our feelings and that's what we did after the training block in Dubai. It went really well, but I felt it was best to talk about it and he also thought it was good to have a change and end it there. I think we had a great three and a half years. All I can do is thank him for all his efforts. We got the most out of each other, which was the idea for the relationship.”

Federer has endured his most barren season on the ATP World Tour in the past decade, limited to just one title so far and no Grand Slam finals. The Swiss still feels he has plenty to offer in his playing career, though, and remains keen to compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016. "[Playing at the Rio Olympics] is something I'd like to achieve. That doesn't mean I'm going to end my career there, or earlier or later. It's just an idea.

“As long as my body and mind is ready to go to travel, I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing, I'm successful. I'll be playing for some time and that hasn't changed due to a tough six months right now.”

Date: 20th October 2013, Source: ATP


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