Tennis

Fit-and-firing Federer eyes ATP crown

Fresh from his second Shanghai Masters triumph, Roger Federer is eyeing a seventh ATP Finals crown and has also not ruled out snatching the world No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal.

The 19-time Grand Slam winner, who claimed his 94th title and sixth this year with an emphatic defeat of Nadal in Sunday's Shanghai final, is hungry for a first ATP Finals win since 2011.

"London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals," the 36-year-old told Sky Sports.

"I am very excited to have had the year that I have had and everything that comes from here is a bonus.

"Finishing the year as world No. 1 is a long shot, and I don't think it will happen but if I play like this, who knows? Maybe I will get close again."

Federer and Nadal shared the year's Grand Slam titles between them, with the Swiss bagging the Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns, and the Spaniard winning the Roland Garros and US Open titles.

In the latest ATP rankings released yesterday, Federer closed the gap on Nadal, shaving more than 400 points off his lead.

Only Nadal, Federer, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem have booked their spots at the season-ending ATP Finals, which takes place in London from Nov 12 to 19.

Shanghai was Federer's first tournament since the US Open and the confidence he gained from his opening matches helped him through a tough schedule.

"It's definitely been the best I felt since Wimbledon," he said, where he won the championship for a historic eighth time in July.

Federer, who has been carefully managing his schedule, will now return home to map out the next few months to ensure he continues his fine run.

The 31-year-old Nadal, who was on a 16-match winning streak before Sunday's final, said Federer was reaping the benefits of taking breaks from the sport.

"For this year, Roger did great in all the events that he played, so looks like he saved his body," said Nadal.

"He played very high level of tennis during the whole season, so well done for him and happy to see him play well." - REUTERS

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