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Federer: "I Think My Game's Been Coming Back"

Shanghai, China

Federer© Shanghai Rolex MastersFederer is currently seventh in the Emirates ATP Race to London

World No. 7 Roger Federer is contesting his first tournament since the US Open at this week's Shanghai Rolex Masters and declared he is ready to rediscover his best form in a bid to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. 

Since New York, the 32 year old has spent time training in both Switzerland and Dubai, and is focused on finishing the 2013 season strongly, beginning with claiming a 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in Shanghai. 

"It's one of those things you just want to move on from," said Federer, referring to his fourth round loss to Tommy Robredo at Flushing Meadows. "I think my game's been coming back, which has been very important. Now it's about staying positive and working hard every single day, that's been the mindset."

"I'm really just focused on my own game, my first‑round opponent," said the fifth seed, who will battle either Lleyton Hewitt or Andreas Seppi in his opening round. The Swiss is placed seventh in the Emirates ATP Race to London.

"It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for [London]. I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that," said Federer, who has won the year-end championships a record six times. "It's extra motivation for me to play well and be part of that great tournament."

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Without revealing details for 2014, Federer said his schedule for next season is somewhat complete. 

"I always knew that this year, after a very tough year in 2012 [and] the Olympics, was going to be a bit of a more quiet year.  I expected myself probably not to be as successful and as busy playing matches and tournaments," said the former World No. 1.

"My mindset now is [that] next year is going to be a great year again where I'm not going to have that many points to defend, especially at some very key moments where I consider myself a favourite.  For that reason, I'm really looking forward to 2014 already."

The father-of-two said he's looking forward to his practice block at the end of the year, which will set him up for a strong season. "It has been a bit of a rocky patch the last couple of months but my expectations will always remain very high. That will never change," said Federer.

"As long as I'm physically and mentally fine, there's no reason for me not to be taking part in the big matches. That's what I'm looking forward to in 2014, to be part of those matches."

Federer paid tribute to his friend and rival Rafael Nadal, whom he trails 10-21 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head. The Spaniard rose to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. 

"I think [it's] an unbelievable comeback, no doubt about it," said the Swiss right-hander. "One year ago people were saying he might never play tennis again. One year later he's world No. 1. That's how quick things can go in tennis, which is great. On the other hand, you've got the other extreme sometimes, you write off a player a little bit too fast."

Federer said he was pleased for the left-handed Mallorcan. "I'm really happy that Rafa's proven himself, for himself personally clearly, but also to the rest of the world that you never write off someone like him... The US Open was an unbelievable victory."

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