WATCH: Roger Federer's post-semifinal press conference at the ATP Finals
Roger Federer says he is looking at the positives following a season that began with some major records but finished with some tough defeats and a lingering injury.
Federer won his 20th Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open and then became the oldest ever No. 1 while capturing the title at Rotterdam the following month. But he also fell in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon (while leading Kevin Anderson by two sets), the fourth round of the US Open, and the semifinals of Shanghai, the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals. In between, he won his hometown tournament at Basel for his 99th career title.
"[It] started great. The second half of the season could have been better maybe," Federer said, pointing to tight defeats like his five-setter with Anderson at Wimbledon, and a third-set tiebreak against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Paris Masters.
"But because I know I could have won, I'm also disappointed because I aim high."
While speaking to press from Switzerland, Federer added that the hand injury from the grass-court event at Stuttgart was still affecting him to some extent.
"I felt the hand for a long time, even here in London, even though it has been getting better and better," he was quoted as saying by Tages Anzeiger. "That shouldn't be an excuse, [but] it broke my rhythm sometimes.
"I hope that the problems are gone during the holidays."
But following his semifinal defeat to Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals, he also expressed satisfaction with his performance at this point in his career.
"I must tell you I'm very proud that, at 37, I'm still so competitive and so happy playing tennis," he said. "From that standpoint, I mean, as disappointed as I might be about this match, if I take a step back, I'm actually very happy about the season. It's been a historic season in some ways. Got back to world No. 1. For me, that was a huge moment in my career, because I never thought I would get there again."
Federer finishes the season at No. 3 in the rankings.