Federer: I can get back to world No. 1
Originally published on: 01/03/13 00:00
The Swiss, who spent 17 weeks at the top of the world rankings last season before being replaced by Novak Djokovic in November, has announced a reduced schedule this season.
The Wimbledon champion is in action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this week, but has opted to skip the Sony Open in Miami next month, and will instead take a two-month break before beginning his clay-court campaign.
But despite his intention to play fewer tournaments in 2013, Federer insists he can still keep pace with Djokovic. Asked about his chances of returning to the summit of the men’s game, Federer replied: "Absolutely realistic, if you play great.
"I know it's possible. I know it's possible to win tournaments. But right now, a big focus is on making sure every tournament I enter that I'm perfectly prepared, like for here, for Australia, for Indian Wells."
Djokovic and Murray may be the new dominant rivalry in the game, having squared off in the last two major finals, but Federer insists it would be premature to rule him, or Rafael Nadal, out of the running for Grand Slam glory this season.
"Yes, they have played more often than not, and they have played in some big matches and very often the matches have been very good,” Federer said. “So naturally that is what the media looks at. I understand that.
"It's all a question of how you see things. Rafa also has not been involved in this whole process the past seven months, so you don't want to jump the gun too quick."