Federer targets top spot after 'vital' rest

Sun, 06 May 11:37:00 2012

In fine fettle after a month-long rest, Roger Federer is ready to get his clay season underway and continue his bid to recapture the world number one ranking from Novak Djokovic.

Federer - 0

The 30-year-old Swiss maestro has not played since losing to Andy Roddick at the Sony Ericsson Open at the end of March. He said he needed some time away from tennis to recharge his batteries and rid himself of one or two niggling injuries.

Federer has played some of his best tennis in years in winning three titles this year, including the Indian Wells Masters event, but knows that challenging Rafa Nadal on the Spaniard's favoured clay and stealing his French Open crown in Paris starting at the end of this month will be a tall order.

"I feel good about my chances of playing well in the next few months," the world number three told a news conference at the Madrid Open on Sunday.

"But then again I am coming back on clay and Rafa has been so dominant on this surface for so many years so I know the task ahead of me," added the 16-times grand slam singles champion.

Federer said he had needed time out after an intense start to the year when he played 23 matches and lost just three, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open before falling to Nadal. He won events in Rotterdam and Dubai to add to his success in Indian Wells.

He also had a busy end to 2011, triumphing at the World Tour finals in London in November after victories at the Paris Masters and his home event in Basel.

The rest was vital, said Federer

"I needed it because I did play so, so much and this break was also looking ahead to what's to come and there's a lot on my plate and want to be fresh in my mind and fit in my body for those big goals ahead," he added.

"It was more about relaxing my body because I had been playing with some niggling injuries over a few weeks, or a few months almost, and I am happy they went away.

"It was just to get away from tennis for a while really, get away from the craziness that surrounds it, the matches and the press and all that stuff.

"So that was nice to just recharge the batteries, that was the key during this break."

If Federer can leapfrog number two Nadal and topple Djokovic he would equal Pete Sampras's record of 286 weeks at the top of the rankings and the Swiss said he was in a "pretty good position" to do it over the coming months.

"All of a sudden if you do win a grand slam again you have a shot and if I do I'll probably be extremely close to world number one," he said.

"Then again - easier said than done. I know what it takes to win a grand slam. It's hard, it's always been hard.

"It's still far away for me and my focus is on my next match here on Wednesday.

"But it is a dream for me this year try to achieve that again. I'll try to chase that as hard as I can and see if it's possible. If not it's no problem and I'll just try to win tournaments which is a thrill in itself."

Federer, who has a bye into the second round, begins his Madrid Open campaign on Wednesday against the winner of the first-round match between fast-rising Canadian Milos Raonic and former world number three David Nalbandian of Argentina.

Reuters

Comment 32 - 52 of 52

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  1. Sam, I make no guarantees, mate - that's your­ domain! Just predictions based on recent history from­ me. If Rafa wins RG, I'd make him slight favourite­ over Nole at Wimby. Nole is my pick for the USO. Not­ difficult to grasp, is it?

    From K12, on Tue 8 May 0:19
  2. Thanks for the reverse jinx sam. It's working­ working well lately!

    From John, on Sun 6 May 23:34
  3. Federer

    From Karam, on Sun 6 May 22:38
  4. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    first off.....welcome back king­ roger.....second....just got a chance to watch delpo­ win the finals ........r u kidding me? r u kidding me!­ delpo is back 85 percent.....and remember what i­ guaranteed! if delpo is back 85 percent....he will­ destroy nadal....well i got to be good for my word­ .....let me now give u the result of the nadal-delpo­ match if it happens.....delpo will crush nadal.....yes­ crush nadal not only in madrid......but if they are to­ play at the french.....well federer or novak will not­ get the chance.....cause if delpo is in nadals­ draw.....delpo will destroy him at the french....i­ guarantee that much......nadal is no match for­ delpo.....just remember i said it first! yes yes yes­ delpo is back.....85 percent!......enough to beat rafa!­ and mr EDDIE i guaranteed that u will bow down to the­ king of kings roger federer....u will i guarantee that­ much! u r hero nadal will lose and lose he will at the­ french! i guaranteed that before and i guarantee that­ much now!

    From Sam parikh, on Sun 6 May 21:44
  5. The king's forum?? Come on, Sam. Get a grip.

    From K12, on Sun 6 May 21:35
  6. sam you blooooooooooooooody idiot

    From ed, on Sun 6 May 21:14
  7. Sammy: I am a fan of four players: Rafa, Fed, Djoko­ and Roddick. I don't favor any one. It's hard­ to comment in favor of any one as I am subjected­ sometimes to criticism. I am not like you , you are a­ diehard fan of any one who could beat Nadal especially­ Fed and Djoko. In other words you are Nadal number one­ hater. May be later you will switch your allegiance and­ love to Nadal. You just don't know it yet. Believe­ me SAMantha you will fall for Nadal.

    From EDDIE, on Sun 6 May 20:59
  8. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    MR EDDIE::::: what do i see here? u switched to federer­ from nadals camp!!!!! amazing i guaranteed that u will­ switch to federer after a few years.....but u proved me­ wrong.....u switched a lot earlier! welcome to the­ club.....now enjoy the gentermen tennis cause mr­ federer is back! nadal will lose madrid crying about­ the surface and the blue clay....while the winners­ novak, federer, and delpo will go on and play since­ they are professionals...and they have trained to play­ on any surface!

    From Sam parikh, on Sun 6 May 20:15
  9. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    EDDIE:::: i know nadal will again prove me­ wrong......he has lost 3 straight finals in a major!­ now he will lose a lot more.....so yes nadal will lose­ time and time and time again.....i will be here....yes­ i will be here after delpo demolishes ur hero....no­ matter what happens nadal will lose the french­ open....and lose he will....and u sick rafa fan what r­ u doing in the kings forum? yes there is only one­ king....the king of kings roger federer....u need to­ bow down u fool!

    From Sam parikh, on Sun 6 May 20:12
  10. SAMantha's favorite player is: Any One who could­ beat Rafa. She capitalizes on Fed, Djoko and lately­ Delpo so she could get some supports from the fans of­ these 3 good players. No matter what you say Sam, Nadal­ will prove you wrong again and again and again.........

    From EDDIE, on Sun 6 May 19:59
  11. ever wondered why Federer has decided to be no 1 ­ again, had no worries when Nadal was no, 1.??

    From Margaret, on Sun 6 May 19:58
  12. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    FIROZ :::: u r right rafa rules! yes he rules the­ record of losing three straight slams finals to the­ same player novak! vamos federer, vamos novak!

    From Sam parikh, on Sun 6 May 19:51
  13. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    K12:::u idiot u r saying that federer will not win any­ slams this year? and do u guarantee that? cause after­ federer wins the slam this year ....i expect to see u­ commit suicide! go away u sick rafa fan! rafa will­ never win another slam! i guarantee that much!

    From Sam parikh, on Sun 6 May 19:49
  14. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Webski:::::u loser what have u accomplished? u deserve­ to be in nadals forum what r u doing here? go away u­ loser and commit suicide after federer becomes number ­ one again!

    From Sam parikh, on Sun 6 May 19:47
  15. I am glad I'll see Fed play again soon. Just to see­ him play is good enough for me and the more if he wins­ several matches at the Madrid tournament. His first­ match will be tough but I think he will emerge­ victorious. Vamos Federico!

    From EDDIE, on Sun 6 May 19:30
  16. Fed should focus on more realistic goals- statying in­ top 5. He will NEVEr be number 1 again.

    From webbski, on Sun 6 May 19:13
  17. I was hoping Rafa would pull out of Madrid. He­ would've done it by now. Hmmm...

    From K12, on Sun 6 May 19:01
  18. We'll see, Sam. I think Nadal will win RG, Nadal or­ Djokovic will win Wimby, and Djokovic will take the­ USO. The Olympics is wide open as far as I can see.

    From K12, on Sun 6 May 18:58
  19. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    Roger federer will win two slams this year! Remember I­ have been wrong twice in two years so awesome stats! Mr­ nadal will win nada slams yes 0 slams! And I forgot­ federer will also win the olympics! So get excited

    From Sam parikh, on Sun 6 May 18:22
  20. First match against Raonic/Nalbandian? Very difficult­ first match coming back from a long break.

    From A, on Sun 6 May 18:18
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