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Federer admits desire to return to No.1

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Originally published on: 01/11/11 09:57

Once a ball boy in Basel, now a 16-time Grand Slam champion targeting a fifth title in his hometown this week, the fire still burns strong in Roger Federer.

The 30 year old, who was recently pushed down to No.4 in the ATP ladder by the in-form Andy Murray, has told the Swiss press of his desire to recapture the world No.1 ranking.

“In the long term that’s one goal,” Federer told Swiss paper Basler Zeitung. “But in the short term it’s no longer possible. This I must accept. Whether I’m No.3 or No.4 does not matter. The crucial thing is that I stay in the top 4. That makes it easier at the Grand Slams. We are four equals, there can be very quick changes in the hierarchy.”’

There can be quick changes in the women’s hierarchy too, Federer admits, but it has been an entirely different story at the Grand Slams where a different woman won each of the four majors in 2011.

“What is clear is in men’s tennis in a season you have to get almost two Grand Slam titles to be No.1 without winning a major, which would be unthinkable for us,” said Federer. “That’s not to sound disrespectful towards women, it is simply a fact.”

Federer was also pressed by the Swiss media on whether he will team up with compatriot Martina Hingis at the London Olympics.

“It is too early for a decision,” he said. “We’re both in a comfortable positions and fortunately not have to rely on playing together at the Olympics.”

As for adding another title to his career haul of 67, Federer got his campaign for a fifth Basel title off to a solid start with a 7-6(3) 6-4 triumph over Potito Starace.

Federer next plays Thomaz Bellucci or Jarkko Nieminen in round two, while Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray kick off their indoor campaigns ahead of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with matches against Xavier Malisse and Robin Haase respectively.

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