Federer challenges Djokovic in No.1 battle

Roger Federer has upped the challenge in the battle for year-end World No. 1.

The 33-year-old, who fell to World No. 8 earlier this season, returned to World No. 2 on Monday for the first time in more than a year and now stands within 1,000 points of Novak Djokovic in the calendar-year ATP Race To London. He defeated defending champion Djokovic in the Shanghai Rolex Masters semi-finals on Saturday before lifting his second straight ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy.

Now Federer - the year-end No. 1 from 2004-07 and in ’09 - is looking to become the second player to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 mantle on two occasions. Rafael Nadal became the first to accomplish the feat last year, following his previous No. 1 finishes in 2008 and ’10.

Though 3,000 ATP Race To London points remain up for grabs over his next three tournaments, Federer downplayed the opportunity to regain No. 1, focusing instead on finishing his season on a high note.

“I think this year everything is going really well,” he said. “I have still so many highlights to look forward to for the end of the season, which is very nice. Usually everything slows down at the end of the season. Not for me this time.

“What does it need for World No. 1? I'm not quite sure. I need to look into that, how realistic it is or not. I mean, it's in Novak's racquet. He dictates. But nevertheless, I'm still going to be playing and hopefully playing well again.”

Nadal also has an outside chance of defending his year-end No. 1 crown, trailing Djokovic by 2,265 points in the ATP Race To London.

Federer and Nadal are scheduled to play next week at the Swiss Indoors Basel, where 500 Emirates ATP Race To London points will be awarded to the champion. Federer has reached the final in his last eight appearances at his hometown tournament, winning the title five times and finishing runner-up to Juan Martin del Potro the past two.

Djokovic will join the pair at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, where the winner will collect 1,000 points, and then the trio will head to London for the ATP World Tour Finals. An undefeated champion at the season-ending championships will earn 1,500 points.

Federer has won the ATP World Tour Finals six times, in 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2010-11.

Djokovic is the two-time defending champion at The O2, capping his 2013 season with a 24-match winning streak, and is looking to finish as the year-end No. 1 for the third time in four years.

Date :14th October 2014, Source: ATP


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