BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2011
Federer Eying More Major Silverware
by ATP Staff|
Shortly after enjoying what he declared to be "the strongest finish I've ever had in my career," culminating in victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Roger Federer was already looking ahead to what should be a gripping 2012 ATP World Tour season.
Despite a sparkling final four months in 2011, that saw Federer finish with a 17-match winning streak and titles at the Swiss Indoors Basel, the BNP Paribas Masters and the season finale in London, the Swiss did fail to win a Grand Slam championship for the first time since 2002, and is keen to return to the major winning circle in the coming season.
"Sure, to win Grand Slams would be nice," said the Basel native, who holds the record of having won 16 major singles titles. "I've missed out on a few occasions now this year, and maybe also some last year. So I feel like it might be around the corner. Maybe not. The other players obviously have a role to play in this."
Final Report: Federer Wins Record Sixth Season Finale Crown
Indeed, Federer has come close this season. The 30 year old finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final, pushing the Spaniard close in four sets, and held a match point against Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals before succumbing in five thrilling sets. Looking back on the two matches, Federer said:
"I don't think the match against Novak was my biggest disappointment of the season. It wasn't the final. I felt like my chances were there as much at the French Open against Rafa. That would have been an amazing accomplishment, to beat Rafa in the finals of the French Open. So I look back on that one with maybe a few more regrets. I know I was one point away from getting to the US Open final, but it all happened in a moment.
"I think for me, the most important thing is the reaction I show after losses like this. Because [the US Open] was a tough loss. It was one that hurt. It was one that makes you wonder, ‘How in the world can I end up losing this match?’ But to bounce back and not lose a match from that moment on I think shows, again, how tough I am, the right decisions I can take. These are the kinds of reactions I expect from myself. So to come through and prove it to myself was a great feeling."
Nadal and Djokovic swept the board of Grand Slam silverware in 2011, with Andy Murray also featuring in every semi-final and going on to finish runner-up at the Australian Open. But Federer expects the Big Four will be challenged even more in the coming season, with the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and others in the Top 10 also in contention for major titles.
"Novak was the player of the year, which goes without saying," reflected Federer. "A guy who can win 40 matches in a row from the start of the season completely deserves it till the very end of it. I thought Andy Murray played a very good season this year. I think he's going to be very tough to beat next year. And Rafa with his class, he's always going to be a threat for the throne, to win all the big tournaments.
"I think the prospects are good. We also saw Nos. 5 to 8 are extremely close as well. Behind that, anything is possible, too. I think right now we have great quality within the Top 10, even within the Top 20, 25 actually. I'm looking forward to a tough season next year."