Ahead of his opening match in Shanghai, Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer told journalists and fans about what he needed to do to become number one in the world again.
Before he can do so, he has to get past old nemesis Rafael Nadal.
“I can’t control how well he’s playing, because he’s playing so well it’s going to make things more difficult,” Federer said.
“After he won the US Open, that was not the goal, the goal was always to stay healthy and stay in the chase possibly.
“But I know if I want to finish world No. 1, I’ve got to win here, World Tour Finals, Paris, Basel and whatever else there may be so it becomes more and more unlikely, which is totally fine because I never entered this season with the goal of being world No. 1.”
Federer finds himself over 2,000 points behind the Spaniard, but could overhaul the man from Majorca if he at least wins in Shanghai, the Paris Masters, Basel, and the world tour finals.
Looks like a huge ask we know, but if anyone can do it, then it’s probably Federer.
The 36-year-old took on Diego Schwartzman in the first round of Shanghai, with his 31-year-old rival Nadal facing Jared Donaldson.
As Federer and Nadal seemingly lock out everyone else for another season, 1983 French Open champion Yannick Noah joked ahead of the tournament in Shanghai that a lot of the younger tennis stars would be hoping for the pair to retire soon so they could win some silverware.
Speaking to ABC Noah said: “The younger guys are doing well, but they have not been lucky,
“They are facing probably the best three players ever in the same era.
“That’s very unusual. You can have two, but not three.
“Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and also Murray.
“Having the chance to breakthrough between them is very tough. In order to win a Grand Slam title you need to beat one, two or three. It’s almost impossible.
“I am sure that 20 or 22-year-olds are wishing Federer and Nadal would retire: “now do you let us play?”
The world of tennis will miss Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer once they do decide to hang up their rackets, that’s for sure.
Well, the fans will anyway.
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