Roger Federer has played down his chances of finishing 2014 as the world number one, and will not increase his schedule to achieve that target.
The Swiss has moved up one position to second in the ATP world rankings, after winning his second consecutive ATP Masters 1000 Series title in Shanghai on Sunday, beating France’s Gilles Simon 7-6, 7-6 to win his fourth singles title of the year.
Having started 2014 at sixth in the rankings, it is a sign of the progress that the 33-year-old has made this year under new coach Stefan Edberg, who guided him to his first Grand Slam final in two years at Wimbledon last July, where he was beaten in five sets by Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic is now the only man ahead of the 17-time major winner, and there is a chance that he could return to the number one position for the first time since 2012.
No schedule amendements
But the Basel-born player is reluctant to change his schedule, which involves playing his final three tournaments of the year at the Swiss Indoors in Basel and the Paris Masters in October, followed by the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.
Federer said after beating Simon: “I'm not even going to change my schedule because of it. I haven't thought about it, to be quite honest.
"What does it need for world number one? I'm not quite sure. I need to look into that, how realistic it is or not.
"I mean, it's in Novak's racquet. He dictates. But nevertheless, I'm still going to be playing and hopefully playing well again."
What can change?
There are a potential 3000 points left for Federer to play for, and he currently trails Djokovic by over 2000 points, meaning that there is an unlikely, but small chance that he could usurp the Wimbledon champion by the end of the year.
Federer has 1060 points to defend going into the last three tournaments, as he reached the final in Basel in 2013, where he lost to Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, before being knocked out in the semi-finals in Paris and London respectively.
After passing Spaniard Rafael Nadal into second place in the rankings, who was knocked out in the second round in Shanghai by compatriot Feliciano Lopez, the momentum could be with Federer, after he beat Djokovic in the semi-finals 6-4, 6-4 last Saturday.
Despite his rise in the rankings this year, Federer is still searching for his 18th Grand Slam title, with his last coming at Wimbledon in 2012, where he beat Britain’s Andy Murray in the final.
He reached the semi-finals of both hard court majors at the Australian Open in January and the US Open in August, being beaten by Nadal and eventual champion Marin Cilic on those two occasions, and he was knocked out in the fourth round of the French Open by Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis in May.