08:03 PM GMT November 03, 2013
Six-time former champion Roger Federer believes that all eight qualifiers are playing good tennis coming into the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Federer, who has qualified for the record-tying 12th straight year, told reporters on Sunday, “I think [that] everyone who is playing in the [Barclays] ATP World Tour Finals is actually in good shape and is playing good tennis. It’s not someone is coming in and is not playing well. It makes it for an interesting tournament.”
“If you look at all the guys, they have played a full schedule. It is definitely a physical and endurance fight to win the title after two or three straight weeks.
The 32-year-old Federer has been drawn in Group B alongside defending champion Novak Djokovic, 2009 finalist Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet, who is competing at the season finale for the first time since 2007.
Federer beat del Potro in the BNP Paribas quarter-finals this week, before losing to Djokovic in the semi-finals.
“Novak is playing great,” said Federer, who practised at The O2 mid-afternoon prior to his media conference. “He has won every tournament he has played over the last few. He has a lot of confidence and is playing really well.
“Juan Martin the same, I just played him too. He has reached semis or finals or better in the tournaments he has played. The question is, how fit or how much energy has he got left? I expect him to be tough to beat.
“Richard has played a lot of tennis this year, especially at the back end ever since the US Open. He has really tried to make it to the [Barclays] ATP World Tour Finals. He made it, credit to him. He is playing well as well.”
Federer realises that he has his work cut out, but admitted, “I usually play good tennis here – I don’t’ know why, but it gets the best out of me.
Coming into the season finale in London with a 43-15 match record on the season, Federer confessed that “the year has been more difficult. Most of the time, I was focusing on myself to get things right in my life with my back.
“Now, finally that I did, I feel like it is coming together at the right time for me. It has a different feel because it hasn’t been as consistent, as good and solid as it has been than in previous years.”
Federer plays Djokovic on Tuesday night in what we be a repeat of the 2012 title match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head 16-14.