Federer: No. 1 realistic if he’s playing ‘absolutely great’

by: Matt Cronin | February 25, 2013

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World No. 2 Roger Federer says he still has a chance to reclaim the No. 1 ranking, but it will take an extraordinary year to so do. The 31-year-old Swiss is playing a more limited schedule in 2013, including skipping the Miami Masters. After Indian Wells, where Federer is defending his title and 1,000 points, he will take seven weeks off until Madrid, which begins on May 5. Federer is currently 3,105 points behind No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

“It’s definitely realistic if I’m playing great, but I need to play absolutely great,” Federer told reporters in Dubai, where he is also defending his title and 500 points. “I can play great, but will I be allowed to? Time will tell. My big focus is on making sure that every tournament I enter I am perfectly prepared. I am hopeful I will get enough matches, but if not my schedule can be changed. I need to make sure I have enough time off, so that when 2014 comes I am in a position with options, which I almost wasn’t this year to a degree.”

Federer, who won his record 17th Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon last summer, added that he is capable of winning more majors. He has not won a major off grass since the 2010 Australian Open.

“I strongly believe I have more Slams in me,” Federer said. “Which Slam do I favor -- does Wimbledon over-weigh the rest? Maybe, but looking back there have been amazing moments with each Slam. It depends how long I play. But I don’t want to be depending on that. I am trying to be smart with my schedule. I am practicing more. Your prime is 23 to 27 or 28 so for me it’s very challenging -- and exciting. I need to make the right decisions. I have family and not many guys have that.”

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