Federer poised for home-town glory in Basel

AFP - [email protected] • 21 Oct, 2014 Updated Tue 21 Oct 2014 18:10 CEST
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Life couldn't be better — or more surprising — for Switzerland's Roger Federer as the 33-year-old takes aim at multiple major goals starting with a sixth title at his home Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel.

The top seed admitted on Tuesday that his current positive situation even has him surprised, with Switzerland playing a Davis Cup final in France next month.
Federer also has a decent shot at regaining the world number one ranking, given the right circumstances.
He has been training on clay for the Davis Cup showdown but is now back to total concentration on the slow indoor hardcourt at the St Jakobshalle, where he has figured in the last eight finals at the stadium where he got his start in the game as a ballboy.
"It's a nice feeling being back in an arena that I know so well and have had so much success," said the 17-time Grand Slam winner who opens on Wednesday in the first round against Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.
"There is no panic about the tournament any more, like there was maybe five, 10, 15 years ago when it all started for me," he said.
"It feels great right now, I'm happy I'm playing so well since the (spring) birth of (twin sons) Leo and Lenny," said the recent Shanghai champion.

He said he was happy Switzerland made the Davis Cup finals.

"We've put ourselves in an exciting position."

"An away tie in France is cool," Federer said.
"And the fact that I've gotten so close to the number one ranking is a bit of a surprise for me." 

He acknowledged he had not won a Slam this year "but I was extremely close at Wimbledon (fifth set against Novak Djokovic)".
Federer said he has played very consistently.

"It's a very different year end for me," he said.

"But If I don't win a few more titles number one won't happen.
"Right now, it's all to play for, I want to start it well here in Basel."
In addition to all of those objectives, Federer has the eight-man World Tour Finals in London to concentrate on the week prior to the Davis final.
With his crowded schedule, the Basel native said that he almost opted not to play Shanghai, where he won that Masters 1000 title for the first time less than a fortnight ago over Frenchman Gilles Simon.
"I had considered not playing Shanghai and then playing Vienna," he said.

"But in the current situation, I'm feeling good."  

Federer noted he had two weeks of vacation after the September Davis Cup semifinals.

"There was even the possibility of not playing her for safety in case I had felt tired or injured after Shanghai," he said.

"The team discussed everything: what was the best for energy, what was my passion, what to do."
Ultimately, Federer said was happy he decided to play in his home town. 

"I'll take it from here but it's likely I'll also play Paris."
Federer heads a field where second seed Rafael Nadal is playing for the first time in a decade.

The Spaniard won his opener on Monday, beating Simone Bolelli.
In first-round play Tuesday, Kenny De Schepper beat Argentine Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7/3), 7-5.



AFP 2014/10/21 18:10

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