Federer Eager To End Positive Season With Success In London
Heading into the Nitto ATP Finals, Roger Federer took a moment to reflect on his 2018 season as he looks to end his year with a milestone 100th tour-level trophy at The O2 in London.
After a stunning 2017 season which saw the Swiss capture seven titles, including Grand Slam crowns at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, Federer was clear that his 2018 season has been a success as he heads into the elite eight-man event. After defending his Australian Open title to win his 20th major trophy in January, Federer has lifted three further titles this year and compiled a 46-8 tour-level record.
"If I would have known that last year, this would have been the season [I would have], I would have taken it," said Federer. "I am very happy that I won a Grand Slam. I am very happy that I played as well as I did throughout the season. Maybe Wimbledon and the US Open didn't go the way I was hoping, but those were really the only two disappointments of the season.
"I won a bunch of tournaments again and played great at the Australian Open. Again, I won my home tournament in Basel... I have just had a really solid season. I stayed injury free also, for most of the year, so I am actually very happy with this season so far."
With a record six titles at the Nitto ATP Finals, second-seeded Federer is eager to capture his first trophy at the season-ending tournament since 2011. Including his debut in 2002, the 99-time tour-level champion has competed in 15 of the past 16 editions of the event. Only in 2016, after cutting his season short to aid rehabilitation from knee surgery, has the Swiss not appeared at the season finale.
"I love playing this event. I always have, ever since I qualified for the very first time back in 2002," said Federer. "It was a massive highlight in my career to be amongst the best eight and I actually had a great run too, that first time in Shanghai."
Two of Federer's six triumphs in the unique competition have come in London, having lifted back-to-back titles at The 02 in 2010 and 2011. Playing in front of a packed crowd, in a world-renowned venue, has always provided Federer with the perfect end to a successful season. More than 250,000 fans attend the event annually, with global viewership figures reaching an average of 95 million viewers each year.
"Here at The O2 we have really had some great crowds, a beautiful, great venue and also some good matches too," said Federer.
Having hosted the event since 2009, when Nikolay Davydenko defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the championship match, the 10th edition of the event begins with questions over the future location of the tournament. With a contract in place until 2020 at The O2, plans for the future of the event, from 2021 onwards, will be announced early next year. Alongside a number of interested cities, London will be up for consideration when the ATP World Tour makes its decision not before March 2019.
"If [the tournament] stays I think it is definitely a good choice," said Federer. "I don't know what the options are. I think the options are clearly important to look at... If The O2 is happy and the crowds keep coming here to this venue and the Tour has a good deal, why not stay here?
"I don't see a reason to change, unless there is somewhere else. A city that really wants it badly and is really willing to come in and support the Tour in a major way for many years to come... I have enjoyed playing in a city that knows tennis very well and has got a strong media following. It has been a good place for us players to showcase our talents."