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Federer Will Chase No. 1 Ranking In 2012

Federer © Getty ImagesRoger Federer will take a 17-match winning streak into the 2012 season.

Roger Federer believes that his strong finish to the 2011 season puts him ‘in the conversation’ for a run at the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking later next year, even though the Swiss will begin the year a massive 5,460 points behind No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

During a wide-ranging interview with Christopher Clarey for The New York Times, Federer said that he was excited by the prospect of challenging for No. 1 and trying to surpass Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks in top spot. Federer fell just one week shy of equaling the Sampras record when he surrendered the No. 1 ranking to Nadal (for a second time) in June 2010.

“Well, that’s a long way to go, but who knows? One day maybe I’ll get there,” Federer said of the hunt for No. 1. “I had to just kind of ignore it at the moment because I know that Novak with his unbelievable year has kind of put that very far from me, but then again, all of the sudden you play well and you win 17 matches in a row and you’re back where you at least feel if you win a Slam or something, you’re right in the conversation again, so that’s interesting and that excites me.”

Federer ended 2011 by winning three consecutive tournaments, the Swiss Indoors Basel, the BNP Paribas Masters and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, collecting 3,000 point that will stay on his 52-week ranking till very late in the 2012 season.

Federer also indicated to The New York Times that he would likely play in Switzerland’s first round Davis Cup tie on home soil against the United States in the first week of March. “I think it looks good that I will play, but I still just have to finalize my schedule,” said Federer, who has not contested a non-relegation Davis Cup tie since 2004.

Federer also revealed that he extended his partnership with coach Paul Annacone after his heartbreaking loss to Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals, when the Serb saved two match points. “I know when someone is doing a good job and when someone is not,” said Federer, who said he told Annacone, “Just because Novak smashed a forehand past me, and I missed match point, has no effect on my decision in working with you.”

Read Christopher Clarey’s full story on Federer

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