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Federer primed for World Tour Finals assault

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Originally published on: 15/11/10 12:16

A four time champion at the season-ending showpiece, Roger Federer believes he is both physically and mentally ready to claim a record-equalling fifth title at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London next week.

“I think I have good chances maybe in London for winning,” said Federer, who picked up indoor titles in Stockholm and Basel before reaching a career best semi-final appearance at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris last week.

“I feel good physically. In a way it is a relief that I was able to finish the tournament [in Paris-Bercy] in good physical health,” said Federer. “I’m fresh mentally, too. This is the most important thing. Victories are important, but when you’re not fit and when you’re injured, it’s bad. So I think I’m going to recover quite fast after that loss.

“I’m going back to Switzerland quickly and I’m going to prepare for London, because London is the great final of the year.”

Despite missing out on a first final appearance in Paris after squandering five match points in his 7-6(7) 6-7(1) 7-6(4) defeat to Gael Monfils, the Swiss is pleased with his current level.

“I feel good. I’m playing well,” said Federer, who has won four titles this season. “It was not a bad match [against Monfils]. I’m happy with my performance. Clearly with a victory I would have had big chances of winning the tournament. This is not the case, so now I have to look at the future. I’m going to prepare for London.”

Having clinched his spot in London back in September after his first round victory at the US Open, Federer believes he has been able to play freely in the run up to the year-end tournament with the burden of qualification off his shoulders.

“The problem [at the BNP Paribas Masters] is I think in the past, when I was stuck in the race trying to make the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals, that’s what really gets you. It’s just a mental drag.  It just becomes so hard for the players,” said Federer, who has a win-loss record of 29-7 at the end-of-season championships.

“I remember back in 2002 and 2003, I could hardly sleep at night because I was so excited, nervous, eager to either make it or not, just to find out. So that definitely had an impact, as well, on how I played.”

A refreshed Federer will return to London with the rest of the eight-strong field for the draw tomorrow, knowing that victory will see him equal Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl’s record of five year-end championship triumphs.

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