BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2011
Federer Believes Anyone Can Win
by ATP Staff|
It could be said that defending champion Roger Federer goes into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as the favourite to win a record sixth title at the season finale. However, the Swiss, who arrived in London on a 12-match winning streak, believes the competition is wide open.
The 30-year-old Federer will renew one of tennis’ all-time most gripping rivalries after being drawn in Group B with Rafael Nadal. But Federer declared that fellow competitors Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish are far from there just to make up the numbers in his round-robin group.
"This year will be very interesting because I feel the one to four guys are the favourites, and then from five to eight they have the potential to upset the top guys and go all the way to the final," said Federer at the round-table interviews on Friday at The O2. "They have big games, they can beat anyone on any given day and they are good enough to win this too. They are very even groups. All the Top 8 guys have the potential to do anything here.
"I’d love to win a sixth title here," Federer continued. "I’ve had so many successful ends to the year. This is another one after winning Basel and Paris. Here I am entering as the defending champion; I hope I have a chance to do well again and finish the season strong."
In last year’s final at The O2, Federer defeated Nadal in three sets, but since then has lost their past three meetings, most recently falling to the Spaniard in the Roland Garros final. The Swiss insisted that, despite a losing 8-17 record against Nadal, he always looks forward to the challenge.
"I always enjoy playing against Rafa; we haven’t played much against each other indoors," commented Federer. "That’s something that’s very exciting. I enjoyed last year’s final, but I’ve also enjoyed other matches with Rafa: the Wimbledon final, the Roland Garros final. We’ve had some epic battles with each other and I hope we have another one here."
The No. 4-ranked Federer will open his campaign on Sunday afternoon against Tsonga, whom he defeated in the final of the BNP Paribas Masters a week ago, and declared himself a fan of the round-robin format, which sees the top two players from each group qualify for the semi-finals.
"It’s nice knowing that you play at least three matches," said Federer. "Playing a Top 10 player in the first round is what gets your heart pumping to be honest. I’m sure that it’s unusual to maybe lose a match and then bounce back, but then you can get on a roll and take advantage of that."