History within reach for Federer in London

Six times the champion at the season finale, Roger Federer is no stranger to success on the ATP World Tour’s biggest stage.

At age 33, the Swiss returns to the ATP World Tour Finals with a point to prove as he attempts to stop top seed Novak Djokovic in his bid to three-peat in London and wrestle the year-end No. 1 mantle from the Serb. It would mark the sixth time Federer has finished a season atop the ATP Rankings, tying Pete Sampras’ record for most all-time.

“You definitely don’t want to lose the first one, as the pressure increases,” Federer said in his pre-tournament press conference, referring to the round-robin format. “You go out with the mentality of being in a knock-out system. If you do lose one, you feel like it is the end of the world… and it is to be honest! I have never felt good in losing but still be in the tournament. It feels very odd, because in tennis you lose you leave. You go round-by-round clearly, but the first one is crucial.

With three fresh faces in this year’s field and following a frantic finish to the ATP Race To London, Federer believes the competition is as fierce as ever. The World No. 2 is a combined 19-14 against the rest of Group B, which includes Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic. He will seek revenge against Raonic when the pair square off in Sunday’s evening session, having fallen to the Canadian in the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Masters last week.

“The margins are so small that I feel we always have to prove ourselves time and again. Definitely Murray wasn’t himself the first few months of the year. It took him a while to get fully fit again after the back surgery. I was very happy for him to do so well at the end of the year. He put in an unbelievable effort to be here and he has a chance to go higher as a favourite at the tournament.

“Things can change very quickly, so that is why I am always careful with predictions. It is nice to see different faces at the ATP World Tour Finals this year with Raonic, Cilic and Nishikori. It will be interesting to see how it will play out. I think the groups are interesting as well.”

Federer recently took home two honours in the 2014 ATP World Tour Awards Presented by Moët and Chandon, claiming his 12th straight ATPWorldTour.com Fans' Favourite and 10th Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. A mere nine match victories from joining Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl as the only members of the 1,000 Wins Club, he also discussed his longevity after 16 years on the ATP World Tour.

“I worked hard to get to No. 1, to get fit as I hoped to be one day so I wouldn’t lose matches because of fitness,” said Federer in his pre-tournament press conference. “I tried to understand the body, listening to it, feeling it and understanding when it is close to being injured; when it hurts, but it is playable and when it is fine to go and play for days, weeks and hours on it.

“You need sleep, rest, stretching and massage in doses, because if you go crazy you lose, in my opinion, the motivation to play. Because so much efforts goes into playing, back in the day you jump up and down for two minutes then go out and play. The next thing you know, you’re doing all these warm-ups, stretching and sleeping and eating the right way. It’s not supposed to be that way. I have always tried to keep the right balance in order to play.”

Date: 8th November 2014, Source: ATP


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