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Federer Aims To Finish Year At World No. 1; Ready For Shanghai Challenge

Shanghai, China

Federer© Shanghai Rolex MastersRoger Federer was the 2010 Shanghai runner-up to Andy Murray.

Roger Federer admitted at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Sunday that he hopes to finish the year at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.

“I hope I will finish World No. 1 at the end of the year,” said Federer, who is competing for the first time since the US Open. "For me it's about trying to play well here in Shanghai and go from there. If everything would have been totally focused on World No. 1, I would have gone to Tokyo or Beijing, most likely, and all those things.

"I've already reached my goal by getting back to World No. 1 in the summer. That was for me the goal, getting back there and winning a Grand Slam, particularly Wimbledon. I feel very much at peace and I'm happy. I always have to look 12 months ahead, as well, making sure I stay injury free, that I stay hungry for more. This is where if it works out, great, and if it doesn't, someone else plays better. I am here, so I'll give it the best shot I can and we'll see how it goes.”

Novak Djokovic has a 1,490 points lead over Federer in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London. The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the elite eight-man season-ending championship, will be held at The O2 in London from 5-12 November.

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Federer also believes US Open champion Andy Murray – who is also bidding to capture a third straight Shanghai title this week – has a shot at becoming World No. 1 over the next 12 months.

“He's saying the right things,” said Federer. “He has results that back up his chances to become World No. 1, maybe even at the end of the year, maybe at the beginning of the next year. If not then, he's got a shot till next year's Wimbledon almost if he were to win there. His next nine months are going to be extremely interesting to follow.

“I think he's done so well, I said it right off the bat, his reaction was amazing right after not winning Wimbledon against me, then coming back and winning the Olympics, still battling it out through Toronto and Cincinnati, then bringing the victory home, his first Grand Slam, at the US Open. [I’m] very impressed, [it was] great to see. I hope for him he can achieve it eventually.”

This week, Federer is hoping to win a record 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown. The 2010 Shanghai runner-up is set to play Chinese wild card Ze Zhang or a qualifier in the second round.

“I love playing here in China,” he said. “I've had some amazing weeks here in my life. I do appreciate all the support I get here. I didn't want to miss it.  I really tried to keep my schedule as flexible as I could so I could come to Shanghai. I'm very relieved and happy now that I'm here. I want to play well and go deep into the tournament. The focus is clearly on the first round, making sure I find my way into the tournament first.”

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