Thursday, October 31, 2013

Martina Hingis questioned by police

GENEVA -- Martina Hingis has been questioned by Swiss police after her estranged husband said he was attacked by the five-time Grand Slam champion and her family.
Hingis, her mother Melanie Molitor and her mother's boyfriend Mario Widmer were interviewed at Schwyz canton police headquarters last week, police spokesman Florian Grossmann said Wednesday.
French equestrian athlete Thibault Hutin has said he was attacked on Sept. 23 at his home in Feusisberg. Hutin claimed Hingis and Molitor hit him, and Widmer struck him with a DVD player.
Grossmann told The Associated Press the canton justice department will decide any possible action. No timetable was set for a decision.
Hingis and Hutin were married in December 2010, and their split was widely reported in Swiss media in July.
The 33-year-old Hingis came out of retirement this year to play doubles with Daniela Hantuchova at various tournaments, including the U.S. Open.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roger Federer wins in Paris books spot at ATP World Tour Finals

Roger Federer qualified for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals thanks to a convincing victory over Kevin Anderson in the second round of the Paris Masters.
The Swiss, 32, needed to progress in Paris to book his place in London next week and did so with a 6-4 6-4 win.
It ensures the world number seven participates at the season-ending event for the 12th consecutive year.
"It's been a tough year so this is a bit of a highlight," said Federer.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has won just one tournament this season - the Gerry Weber Open in Halle - but has done enough to equal Ivan Lendl's record for successive appearances at the season finale.
The world number six, who plays Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round, added: "I'm a little disappointed about the end of the match - it could have gone 5-5.
"I don't know if I'm doing anything wrong or it just happens to be the time my opponents are doing well. I think it was overall very solid."
There were also victories in the Bercy arena for Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Juan Martin Del Potro and Stanislas Wawrinka.
Top seed Nadal, 27, overcame fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5 7-5 to reach the third round.
"It's been an extraordinary season so far and I just want to keep it going and finish the year the way that I can," said the French and US Open champion who reclaimed the world number one ranking earlier this month.
Defending champion Ferrer battled past Czech Lukas Rosol 6-0 2-6 6-3, while in-form Del Potro achieved his 14th win from 15 matches by beating Marin Cilic 6-4 7-6 (7-3).
Swiss number two Wawrinka increased his chances of joining compatriot Federer in London after seeing off Feliciano Lopez 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Roger Federer has one more shot to qualify for World Tour Finals in London

It's the final act before the World Tour Finals in London, and unusually, there are three spots still up for grabs in the season-ending eight-player event. 
Who fills them will all depend on how things play out in Paris, with some intriguing subplots ready to unfold over the next few days. The cast of contenders also has a distinctly French-speaking flavor and a mix of attractive playing styles, which will only add to their appeal for the locals.
The leading role will be played by Roger Federer, and not just because he speaks the language fluently and is as beloved in France as any of the country's own national sports heroes. 
The 17-time Grand Slam champion is the most high-profile player scrambling for one of the last few spots in the season-ending finals, thanks to a poor season that has dropped him to No. 7 in the year-to-date race standings that determine who qualifies for London. 
But things are a lot more comfortable after reaching the final in his hometown event in Basel last week -- the result has left him within a match of guaranteeing a place in London and feeling a lot better about his level of play as well.
"Overall, it was a great week," he said after losing the final to Juan Martin del Potro, his third three-setter in five matches. "I'm happy to have come through tough matches and withstood the challenge."
He's followed in the standings by compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, who took a memorable path to the French Open quarterfinals this year and hails from Lausanne, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. 
Wawrinka, the understudy to his legendary countryman for so long, now not only has a chance to qualify for his first World Tour Finals at 28 but also end the season by overtaking Federer in the rankings for the first time. He had similar opportunities in Basel but faltered badly in front of the home crowds.
"I was too nervous," Wawrinka said. There will be marginally less pressure in Paris, though the quicker indoor conditions may not be to his liking.
Andy Murray's absence following back surgery has opened up an extra spot in the London field, and an all-French battle is brewing over it. It's between No. 9 Richard Gasquet and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who are countrymen but also a study in contrasts. 
The shy, soft-spoken Gasquet was a child star long cast as the savior of French tennis, and after struggling with the attention and demands at the top of the tour, he is now 27 and showing greater competitive drive to go along with his brilliant shot-making. The late-blooming Tsonga, meanwhile, has always embraced the crowds and the pressure of playing at home, and he just announced he will start working with not one but two coaches as he tries to rev up his bold, powerful game once again.
Their potential meeting in the third round has been the focus of attention ever since the draw was made. Both the situation and the quick conditions would favor Tsonga, but Gasquet has been the more consistent player this season. 
The winner is likely to take the last London spot and also end the year as the top-ranked French player. Gasquet insists being the No. 1 Frenchman "is not an issue," saying, "Staying in the top 10 and to go to the [London] Masters, that's what's important to me." Tsonga, meanwhile, said, "I want to qualify, [but] about Richard, I don't specially want to talk about the fourth round meeting."
Still, their much-anticipated encounter would be a very prominent national happening, and neither will want to give up ground to the other on such an occasion.
The last of the serious contenders, Canada's Milos Raonic, also speaks a decent amount of French. He spent time at the national training center in largely bilingual Montreal growing up. He's a little further back in the running, but could get into London for the first time with a big result in Paris. Being in the same half of the draw as Gasquet and Tsonga means that only one of the three could make it to the finals.
There are still a few long shots: Tommy HaasNicolas Almagro and Mikhail Youzhny, who all need to win Paris to qualify.
It's rare for so much to be undecided going into the final week before the season-ending event, but things tightened up because of Federer's struggles combined with a recent string of good performances from those stacked up right behind him -- Wawrinka (US Open semifinals), Gasquet (US Open semifinals, Moscow title), Tsonga (Shanghai semifinals, Vienna semifinals), and Raonic (Montreal semifinals, fourth round US Open).
But the plot thickened further last week as Raonic and Tsonga pulled out of their scheduled events in Basel and Valencia, and Gasquet and Wawrinka both lost in their opening matches at Basel, leaving the field clear for Federer. Federer took advantage by getting all the way to the final (only his third this year), but he stopped just short of clinching a London spot. Winning the final would have done it, but he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in three sets.
That leaves the players heading into Paris with some complex calculating to do about whether they will make the final eight, as the following unofficial scenarios illustrate. (Points up for grabs are as follows: W 1000, F 600, SF 360, QF 180, 3R 90, 2R 45, 1R 10. The top eight seeds receive a bye into the second round, with 10 points for losing in the opening round.)
Roger Federer (3,445 points) -- win a match

The way he can qualify is very simple -- win one match. The way he cannot is complicated -- he loses his first match, and Wawrinka reaches the semifinals and Gasquet reaches the semifinals and Raonic wins the tournament. As long as all four of those things don't happen, Federer will make the year-end event for the 12th straight year.

Stanislas Wawrinka (3,150 points) -- outlast Gasquet or Tsonga, stay within a round of the rest

Wawrinka can afford to have o
ne player overtake him but not more, so he must try to finish a round ahead of Gasquet or Tsonga (at least one of the two will go out by the third round). And if Raonic, Haas or Almagro gets to the finals or wins, Wawrinka must try to finish not more than a round behind them (semifinals if any of them reach the final, final if any win the title).
Richard Gasquet (3,120 points) -- match or outlast Tsonga and get to the later rounds if those behind do

Since Gasquet is in the last qualifying position, he cannot give up any ground. He must try to beat Tsonga, if Tsonga reaches the third round. If Raonic reaches at least the semifinals, Gasquet must also try to finish not more than a round behind. If Haas, Almagro or Youzhny win the title, Gasquet must try to reach at least the semifinal.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (3,055 points) -- outlast Gasquet or Wawrinka, stay close to Raonic

Tsonga needs to move ahead by at least one spot, so he must try to get further than Gasquet or Wawrinka and stay ahead of those behind him if they make a move. That means winning at least one match if Haas or Almagro or Youzhny win the tournament, or reaching at least the third round if Raonic reaches the semifinals, and no more than a round behind Raonic if he gets any further.
Milos Raonic (2,770 points) -- try to make the final

If he can reach the final, Raonic is in unless Gasquet makes the semifinals and Wawrinka makes the semifinals or Haas wins the title. If he can't reach the final, there's little chance.
Tommy Haas (2,425 points) -- win title, get early losses from others

Must win the title, have Gasquet and Tsonga lose before the semifinals, and Tsonga before the final.
Nicolas Almagro (2,200 points) -- win title, get early losses from others

Must win the title and have Gasquet lose by the third round or Wawrinka lose his opening match.
Mikhail Youzhny (2,135 points) -- win title, get early losses from others

Must win title, have Gasquet lose his opening match and Raonic not reach the final.
All these goings-on mean that the overarching storyline on the men's tour this season -- the resumption of the rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal -- is not on center stage as the week begins. 
But Djokovic is the tournament favorite after dominating the Asian events and still has a chance to overtake Nadal for year-end No. 1 if he doesn't lose more than a match or so. 
The Serb also has the additional task of trying to remain fresh for the Davis Cup final after London, so there is still a lot left in the season for him. Nadal, meanwhile, will be trying to end his season strong after a so-so post-US Open swing coming in.
On top of everything, the Paris Masters is known for throwing up surprises. David Ferrerbeat qualifier Jerzy Janowicz in the final last year -- so there could easily be some unexpected events in store as well.
The curtain may be coming down on this tennis season, but the stage is set for an intriguing finish.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Roger Federer hangs tough but loses Swiss Indoors title to del Potro

BASEL, Switzerland — Roger Federer is playing better tennis these days — just not quite good enough to win titles again.

Juan Martin del Potro denied Federer his hometown Swiss Indoors title for the second straight year, winning the final 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4 on Sunday.
Federer trailed throughout his first final in more than four months, though showed no sign of the back problems which have hampered him during the most difficult season of his career.
“I am a winner, I don’t take much confidence from losing matches,” Federer said. “I am happy about the level of my play, it’s getting better, but it’s not in losing where I get much confidence.”
Federer had hoped that the raucous crowd support in Basel — where he is a five-time champion — could help revive his form, but he has still won just one title in the past 14 months.
Del Potro beat the player he described as “a big inspiration” for the third straight time, including the 2012 Basel final.
“I think Roger is playing well,” the top-seeded Argentine said. “For me, he has the perfect game. He played much better when he has the chance to play the top guys.”
Still, with this loss against fifth-ranked del Potro, Federer has only one victory against a top-10 opponent in 2013. That was back in January, against then-No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Australian Open quarterfinals, before a series of shocking defeats against opponents outside the top 50.
Federer can take one positive from his Swiss Indoors run, as it all but secured a place in the eight-man lineup at the ATP World Tour Finals in London starting a week from Monday.
The sixth-ranked Swiss would confirm his London place at the Paris Masters in midweek if he wins a second-round match against Kevin Anderson of South Africa or Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. Even with a loss, he can only be kept out by an unlikely sequence of victories for several rivals in the points race.
“Looking forward to Paris and London, he is going to be a really difficult opponent,” del Potro said. “Then he has the time for recovery to be ready for next season.”
Del Potro earned his 17th career title and fourth this season. He also won at Rotterdam in February, Washington D.C. in August and Tokyo this month, all on his favoured hard-court surface.
The 32-year-old Federer still holds a 13-5 career record against del Potro, but last beat him in the London Olympics semi-finals at Wimbledon.
On Sunday, Federer lost the first set despite playing some of his best tennis this week.
After del Potro forced a 5-3 lead with the first break, Federer responded with four straight points on his opponent’s serve and shouted in triumph.
Facing two set points in the next game, Federer hit an ace and won a long, slugging rally that brought a yell of delight from the sold-out crowd of 9,200.
Still, del Potro dominated the tiebreaker helped by two net cords in his favour, and clinched the set when Federer sent a forehand wide.
Federer levelled the match with much less drama in the second set, after breaking to take a 2-0 lead with a forehand crosscourt winner.
He broke again to clinch the set, set up by a pinpoint forehand winner, and got a standing ovation as he headed back to his seat.
“Roger started to play much better. In the finals, you can’t relax in any moment,” del Potro said.
Federer quickly wasted the advantage of serving first in the decider, despite saving a break point with a leaping backhand overhead winner after del Potro’s deft lob. He double-faulted to give del Potro a second opportunity and then hit a forehand long.
“I did hand the break over to him a little bit too easily in the third set but I did well today,” Federer said.
Serving for the match, del Potro hit an ace to set up three match points, and converted the second with strong ground strokes to move Federer around the court.
Del Potro improved to 48-13 this season and earned 348,000 euros ($480,000) for the victory.
Federer, now 40-14 in 2013, was playing his first final since winning the low-key grass-court event in June at Halle, Germany.
He remains tied with John McEnroe on 77 career singles titles, third most during the 45-year Open era. Jimmy Connors has 109 titles and Ivan Lendl has 94.
“He is also a better person than he is a tennis player,” del Potro said of Federer. “I am very proud to have a good relationship with him.”

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Roger Federer moves into Swiss Indoors final in Basel!

Roger Federer is into the final of the Swiss Indoors event in his hometown of Basel after beating Canada's Vasek Pospisil 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-5.
The world number six will face Juan Martin Del Potro in Sunday's final.
Victory over Del Potro would guarantee Federer's place at next month's eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Argentine Del Potro, ranked a place above Federer, secured his place in the final by beating France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4 4-6 6-2.
Five-times Swiss Indoors champion Federer, seeded third in Basel, had to come through a tense encounter with Pospisil, ranked 40th in the world.
Having won the first set, he faltered when serving for the match at 5-3 in the second and then lost the tie-break that followed.
Pospisil had a sight of victory when he then went 3-1 up in the final set, but Federer broke back to draw level.
He broke again at 5-5, and this time held his nerve to serve out the match and clinch victory in two hours and 40 minutes.
Del Potro came back strongly after a shaky spell against Roger-Vasselin cost him the second set in his semi-final - brushing aside the Frenchman, ranked 65th, in the decider to claim victory.
Federer has qualified for the World Tour Finals every year since 2002, winning the event six times.
The top eight available players with the most points from Grand Slam, ATP World Tour and Davis Cup matches qualify for the Finals at the O2 Arena, which run from 4-11 November.
Britain's Andy Murray - the world number three - has withdrawn from the season-ending event in London as he continues his recovery from back surgery, meaning ninth place will be good enough to qualify.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Roger Federer moves into semis at Swiss Indoors in Basel

Roger Federer moved to within two match wins of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Friday when he reached the Swiss Indoors Basel semi-finals.
Federer, who will play Vasek Pospisil on Saturday, was made to work hard for a 6-3, 7-6(2) win over Grigor Dimitrov in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.
Federer recovered from 3-5, 0/40 in the second set en route to his 38th victory of the year (38-13 overall).
Should the former Basel ball boy win the title for the sixth time he will qualify for the season-ending tournament, which will be held at The O2 in London from 4-11 November, for the 12th straight year.
Federer has now won 50 matches at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Basel. It is the fifth different tournament he’s won 50 or more matches.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Zac Hanson & wife welcome baby #3!


And baby makes five!
Zac Hanson, 28, and his wife Kate, 29, welcomed a baby boy on Thursday, Oct. 17, his rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.
The couple’s son joins big brother John Ira Shepherd, 5, and sisterJunia Rosa Ruth, 2½.
“We are very excited to share the addition of George Abraham Walker Hanson to our growing family,” Zac tells PEOPLE. “Abraham is healthy and we are happily sharing a little down time together as a family.”
Keep up with your favorite celebs in the pages of PEOPLE Magazine by subscribing now.
Their new arrival, who will go by Abraham, arrived at 8 lbs., 7 oz. (the same birth weight, coincidentally, as his sister) and has surely thrilled his siblings.
As Zac told PEOPLE in May, “It’s fun this time to watch the little ones so excitedly anticipating their new sibling.”
Added the drummer, “We are so happy and thankful to add more life and love to our family!”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Roger Federer fights hard for the quarters at Swiss Indoors in Basel

With his fellow Final Showdown contenders falling around him at the Swiss Indoors BaselRoger Federer stayed tough on Wednesday, fighting past Denis Istomin 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals. Should the Swiss win his sixth Basel crown this week, he would qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

"It's an amazing atmosphere for me to play in," Federer said about playing on home soil. "As a kid I was always thinking about Wimbledon and Basel. For me those were the two great things. It's important to never forget that dream. It's the dream I have been chasing after since I was a kid."

The Basel native overcame a slow start to beat Istomin in one hour and 51 minutes, notching his 49th win at the ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court tournament. He fended off four break points in the second game of the deciding set, before reeling off the last five games to claim victory. 

Federer won the title in 2006-08 and 2010-11, and finished runner-up toJuan Martin del Potro in the final last year.

"I think the crowd rarely gets the opportunity to see me play three sets, whether good or bad," Federer said. "It was nice seeing the crowd fight for me and try to get me back into the match. It gives you that extra push to try harder."

The 32 year old is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season, following victory at the Gerry Weber Open in June (d. Youzhny). 

Former finalist Kei Nishikori, who had been a potential semi-final opponent for Federer this week, was defeated in the second round. Croatia’s Ivan Dodig defeated the Japanese No. 1 6-1, 6-2 in just 57 minutes, winning 77 per cent of points on serve. Dodig is through to his seventh ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Roger Federer back in the game with 1st round win in Basel Swiss Indoors

Roger Federer opened his campaign for a sixth Swiss Indoors Basel title on Monday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Adrian Mannarino. The Swiss has two tournaments left with which to secure his place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and is currently eighth in the Emirates ATP Race To London. 
The 32-year-old Federer, who was once a ball boy at his hometown tournament, improved to a 48-8 event record as he defeated Mannarino in 71 minutes. The right-hander let slip an initial service break lead, but reeled off 10 of the last 12 games to improve to 4-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with the Frenchman.
"I think it was a pretty good performance for a first round," said Federer. "I had some good spells and some that were tougher. I fought through and stayed positive throughout. I kept playing aggressive, the way I would like to play for the week."
Federer is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season, having won his 77th trophy at the Gerry Weber Open in June (d. Youzhny). For a place in the Basel quarter-finals, he goes on to face Denis Istomin orHoracio Zeballos
"Clearly I want to do really well here," said Federer. "It all kind of started here for me. It's very special for me. I just need to be careful I don't put too much pressure on myself. But ever since I was able to win the tournament here in 2006 for the first time, that pressure has kind of gone. Now, it's about enjoying it."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Martina Hingis plays for breast cancer awareness in Velencia Open 500

On Saturday in Valencia, the Valencia Open hosted the ever-charming Martina Hingis, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Feliciano Lopez, 

Arantxa Parra Santonja, Anabel Medina Garrigues and more for an exhibition to spread breast cancer awareness. 

The players treated the crowd to mixed doubles while playing for a good cause. — with Martina Hingis and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Kim Clijsters shares family portrait

Kim Clijsters official facebook page

Wow, Jada is the spitting image of mom!. Sweet pic ♥.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Roger Federer enters Brisbane International warm-up tournament

Roger Federer will change up his preparation for the 2014 Australian Open after announcing he will play the Brisbane International in December.
Roger Federer will change up his preparation for the 2014 Australian Open after announcing he will play the Brisbane International in December.
Federer opted not to play a lead-up event prior to this year's Australian Open, choosing instead to give his body an extended break.
But the 31-year-old Swiss ace has decided to incorporate more tournament play before the first grand slam event of 2014, spending the New Year in Queensland to take in his first Brisbane International from December 29 to January 5.
"I've heard many great things from the other players, they say it's a very friendly tournament, fan friendly, player friendly," Federer said.
"What else do you expect to be quite honest? In Australia you guys do great work.
"For some time we've been in contact with Brisbane (International) and I saw how the tournament got stronger and stronger ... and the connection with Pat Rafter, him having the arena named after him I think is great.
"I've always hoped that I could come there ... so I am happy we are all able to make it work.
"I'm not just coming there (to Australia) for the Australian Open, especially when I commit so early in advance, it's also to win in Brisbane."
While it may be Federer's first experience of the Brisbane International, the world number five revealed he has visited Australia's north once before.
"I have been to Queensland some time ago now ... when I was 14 years old, and I travelled through Queensland with my family," he said.
"It was our last vacation before I entered the National Tennis Centre when I came back to Switzerland.
"We visited Rainbow Beach; we spent a few nights in Brisbane, and then went up to Cairns.
"We also went to the Great Barrier Reef ... we had a good time and ever since I've loved Australia.
"I've also had Australian coaches as many know, and always enjoyed coming back to Australia."

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kim Clijsters poses for first photo with 1 month old son Jack Lynch

Super-mom Kim Clijsters gave birth to her second child, a son named Jack Leon Lynch, on September 18th, and the little guy is already attending photo shoots and basketball games.

Well, what to expect when your mother is a tennis champion, who won three Grand Slam titles after giving birth to her first child?

Clijsters and her less-than-a-month-old little boy are gracing the cover of Belgium's Dag Allemaal, the same magazine in which big sister Jada was featured as a baby in March 2008 (Jada was only two weeks old at the time).

And that's not all, with both her children, Clijsters was spotted in the stands of a basketball game between Antwerp and Ostend, as her husband Brian Lynch is the assistant coach of the Antwerp Giants. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Roger Federer splits with coach Paul Annacone

Roger Federer announced Saturday that he and Paul Annacone were ending their three and a half year coaching relationship.

"After a terrific 3 ½ years working together, Paul and I have decided to move on to the next chapter in our professional lives. When we started together we had a vision of a 3 year plan to win another Grand Slam title and get back to the number #1 ranking. Along with many other goals and great memories, these 2 main goals were achieved," Federer said in a statement on his official website.

Federer added that after a recent training block, both he and Annacone mutually decided it was time to move on. The parting is amicable and each will continue their friendship moving forward.

Annacone, a former top 15 player, went on to coach Pete Sampras, Marat Safin and Tim Henman prior to working with Federer. The Swiss star hired Annacone full time back in 2010 after Federer lost to Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon that year along with losing his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal.

During his tenure, Annacone helped Federer win his seventh Wimbledon singles title in 2012, tying Sampras' own Open Era record, along with reclaiming the No. 1 ranking.

This year, Federer is currently ranked No. 7 and fighting to qualify for the season ending ATP World Tour Finals event in London. Annacone was not present with Federer at this week's Shanghai Rolex Masters where Federer lost in the third round to Gael Monfils.

Federer is next scheduled to compete at the Swiss Indoors event in Basel.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Defiant Roger Federer still not ready to quit

Roger Federer said Monday he is convinced he can still compete at the pinnacle of the men's game as he plots to end a rough year on a high by reaching the World Tour Finals.
The Swiss great, who has slipped to seventh in the world rankings after failing to reach a Grand Slam final in 2013, said his aim at the start of the year was to qualify for the end-of-season showpiece inLondon and nothing had changed.
The 32-year-old, who has won just one tournament this year and made early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open, is also seventh in the race to reach next month's Tour Finals, featuring the season's best eight players.
"I have no idea right now what the situation is," said Federer, who has won the event a record six times. "I'm really just focused on my own game, my first-round opponent. That's all I really need to do."
"It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for it. I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that," he added.
"So it's extra motivation for me to play well and be part of that great tournament."
Federer, along with the rest of the top eight seeds at this week's Shanghai Masters, has a bye into the second round but faces a daunting potential quarter-final against top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The Swiss said he had taken time off since the US Open to recharge his batteries, and was now focused on a strong finish to the season and on planning for 2014.
Despite a growing debate about when the 17-time Grand Slam champion should retire, Federer, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, said he refused to dwell on recent disappointments.
"I think my game's been coming back, which has been very important," he said. "Now it's about staying positive and working hard every single day. That's been the mindset."
And he sees no reason why he cannot continue to compete with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray, all significantly younger.
"My mindset now is, OK, next year is going to be a great year again where I'm not going to have that many points to defend, especially at some very key moments where I consider myself a favourite," he said.
"For that reason I'm really looking forward to 2014 already." "My expectations will always remain very high. That will never change," he added.
Federer also had warm words for long-time nemesis Nadal, who on Monday returned to the top of the world rankings after battling back from a long injury lay-off.
"I think (it's) an unbelievable comeback. No doubt about it. I mean, one year ago people were saying he might never play tennis again. One year later he's world number one. That's how quick things can go in tennis, which is great."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Roger Federer back to winning ways in Shanghai

(CNN) -- In Roger Federer's last tournament, he lost at the U.S. Open to a player he had beaten 10 straight times.
Federer returned to the singles court at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday and in defeating Andreas Seppi, ensured that another long winning streak didn't come to an end.
Whereas Federer was upset by Tommy Robredo in New York five weeks ago, he improved to 10-0 against Seppi by downing the Italian 6-4 6-3.
Having dipped to seventh in the rankings, Federer needs wins to ensure his participation at the year-end championships in London in November. He has appeared at the marquee event every year since 2002.
Federer hasn't dwelled on his defeat to Robredo -- he told reporters this week he didn't want to think too much about it -- and is already looking forward to a "great" 2014 to dampen any talk of retirement.
The Swiss veteran was certainly sharper against Seppi than Robredo, especially after overturning an early break deficit in the first set.
Both players, however, hit more unforced errors than winners in Asia's top men's tournament.
Federer was the overwhelming crowd favorite, with fans chanting, "in, in, in" when the 17-time grand slam champion challenged a forehand he hit that was called wide.
"It was great energy, I must say," Federer told reporters. "It gives me unbelievable motivation, inspires me to train hard, work hard, push further for that particular day, but also wanting to come back again next year, and again and again."
Rafael Nadal watched part of his great rival's match and was mobbed by fans wanting his autograph.
He obliged.
The Spaniard, back to top spot in the rankings this week after a two-year absence, also advanced in straight sets over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
The man he deposed as No. 1 did the same against Marcel Granollers.
Novak Djokovic, the top seed because the Shanghai draw was made last week, needed a medical timeout for a foot problem but still thrashed Granollers 6-2 6-0.
"It was just an awkward movement," Djokovic told reporters. "I was in an off-balance position. I was running and I made a quick movement that caused a sharp pain at that instant moment."
"But after the match we determined that it's nothing serious, so it's all fine."
When Andy Murray announced he would be undergoing back surgery last month, it was thought the Wimbledon champion wouldn't return until 2014.
But according to reports last week, Murray considered coming back at the year-end championships on home soil after a successful operation.
Alas, Murray ruled out that possibility Wednesday.
"I'm really disappointed not to be playing this year," Murray told the ATP's website. "I love playing in front of my home crowd. It's a great atmosphere.
"All the players look forward to competing in London and I'll be doing my best to qualify again for the tournament next year."
His withdrawal realistically means that five players -- Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet, Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga -- are vying for the final two spots in the eight-man field.
All four have advanced to the third round in Shanghai except Gasquet, who fell Tuesday to Raonic's Canadian compatriot Vasek Pospisil.
Wawrinka, who reached the last four in New York, meets Raonic on Thursday.