Lo and behold a week has gone by since the Shanghai Masters and now we’re at the home stretch. The Swiss Indoors kicks off the last 3 weeks of the ATP’s 2012 schedule with Basel then being followed by Paris Bercy and finally the all important ATP World Tour Finals in London all back to back events.
As you might remember from last year, Roger Federer started a resurgence in his form with these events, sweeping all 3 titles, which no doubt helped in launching a highly successful 2012. However, there is no break this year between Bercy and WTF. Furthermore, with his SF exit at the Shanghai Masters, it appears that the only way for him to hold on to the #1 ranking at the end of the year would be for him to win all three events AND hope Djokovic does not get beyond the semis at Bercy and also does not win more than one match at the WTF. So even if he does a repeat of his superlative performance from last year, there is still no guarantee that he will retain the ranking (especially given the hot streak Djokovic is on right now). Federer seems to have done these calculations as well which prompted him to say the following,
“I hope to be able to play three tournaments in three weeks. Certainly after Basel I will play in London, then I will think about what to do regarding Bercy. I have to evaluate my form. I do not know what chances I have to finish the year as number one, it is a big mountain to climb, it is no longer only in my hands.” …. “I was surprised at the speed with which I have taken the top spot. I won Wimbledon, the Olympic medal, I would say that I have achieved what I set for myself. I’m glad to feel good. ”
Thus despite fans clamoring for a year end ranking of #1, Federer seems much more relaxed about it. He has achieved the three goals he had this year (almost). To win a grand slam again, to become #1 in the world again (and beat Sampras’ record in the process) and to win a medal at the Olympics, yes it wasn’t gold, but after 4 tries, a silver looks damn good too. So in all likelihood, the year end #1 will be Djokovic for a second year running. But Federer fans do have that additional record that no one (probably not even Roger) thought about at the beginning of the year, being #1 for a record 300 weeks! In fact, as of today, it’s 301. And I think that’s plenty reason for the Maestro’s fans to rejoice!