Federer: No.1 spot still possible
Originally published on: 28/02/12 10:02
It is now 21 months since Roger Federer topped the world rankings, but the 30-year-old Swiss believes that regaining the world No.1 spot is still within his grasp. When Federer was replaced by Rafael Nadal at the top of the tree in May 2010 he was left just one week short of Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks at the head of the rankings.
“It’s a long-term goal,” Federer admitted at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, where he faces Michael Llodra in his opening match today. “It doesn’t drive me on a daily basis, but I feel like if I play really well from here to the US Open there is a shot. But then again there is a shot for 10 players to do that. I’m aware that I’m not the only one.”
Since his defeat to Novak Djokovic – after scorning two match points – at last year’s US Open, Federer has lost just twice, to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the Australian Open and to John Isner in Switzerland’s surprise defeat to the United States in the Davis Cup. Having ended last year by winning three titles in a row at Basle, Paris and London, Federer won his first tournament of 2012 in Rotterdam earlier this month. He has now won at least one tournament for the last 12 seasons.
“I feel like I’m on a good run,” Federer said. “I’ve won a lot of tournaments in a short period of time, which obviously gives me a lot of confidence. But the focus right now is trying to play well day by day and make sure I get through a tough stretch here from Dubai to Miami. That’s the plan right now. World No.1 will probably be decided for the majority of the players between the French Open and the US Open.”