The ATP World Tour could call on current world no.1 Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, esteemed as the man who has held esteemed top spot longer than any other with 302 weeks, to launch the new Heritage campaign to celebrate 40 years men’s tour rankings over the next six months.
And Federer chose the ceremony, held on a luxury hotel rooftop in Dubai, to insist he can still add to his record total with his 32nd birthday approaching and despite playing on a reduced schedule in 2013.
Federer plans to play just 14 tournaments this year, missing the Sony Open Masters series event in Miami next month along with the Monte Carlo Rolex Open and later in the year the Swiss Indoors in his home-town of Basel.
But Federer has done his math and still believes he can unseat Djokovic again, despite a deficit of more than 4,000 ranking points. “It’s definitely realistic if I’m playing great,” insisted the Swiss. “But I need to play absolutely great.
“I can play great, but will I be allowed to? Time will tell. My big focus is on making sure that every tournament I enter I am perfectly prepared. I am hopeful I will get enough matches but if not my schedule can be changed. Still I need to make sure I have enough time off.”
Federer also believes he can add to his all-time record total of 17 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. “”I strongly believe I have more Slams in me,” he said. “Which Slam do I favor – does Wimbledon over-weigh the rest? Maybe, but looking back there have been amazing moments with each Slam.
“It depends how long I play. But I don’t want to be depending on that. I am trying to be smart with my schedule. I am practicing more.
“Your prime is 23 to 27 or 28 so for me it’s very challenging – and exciting. I need to make the right decisions. I have family and not many guys have that.”
Despite moving forward into his 30’s and being six years older than his two current rivals, Australian Open champion Djokovic and US Open winner Andy Murray, isn’t thinking about retirement. “I want to give myself the best chance to play as long as I can,” he said. “Maybe then it will become clear that it is time to stop. You know things change very quickly, and you have to be ready and open about it.
“But I would like to give myself the chance to play for many years to come. I am happy with the way my body is. I am healthy and happy to be playing. And as for the number one ranking and Grand Slams are still really important to me.
“If I feel confident and am enjoying it I hope to play for a long time. I think I am playing excellent tennis. Some win Grand Slams at 16 and others at 34. It depends how you see things.
“The over-30 guys are extremely consistent. I think I can play good tennis not playing so much.”
©Daily Tennis News Wire