London title over Nadal fires Federer confidence (Feature)
By Bill Scott Nov 29, 2010, 7:31 GMT
London - Roger Federer has proved the validity of tennis planning as the Swiss re-asserted himself once again at the elite level with his fifth year-end trophy lifted at the weekend over Rafael Nadal in London.
Federer's 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 defeat of the Spanish world number one at the World Tour Finals puts the Swiss straight back into the conversation when talk turns to the pair who currently dominate the game. Federer will head off on a well-deserved family holiday, confident that his 2010 planning and dedication to detail has paid off in huge confidence dividends.
The 29-year-old is quick to praise his coaching team of old hand Severin Luthi and new American hire Paul Annacone for helping him turn the corner this season to end with five titles from nine finals.
'I guess I had to regain some confidence, that only comes through winning matches,' said the 16-time Grand Slam champion, 'after having somewhat of a disappointing clay, Halle, Wimbledon stretch, where I wasn't able to win any tournaments.
'Maybe didn't play some of my best tennis, I played a bit passive. But it was important, once the hard court season came around, that I was able to pick up my game, start moving better, start feeling well physically and mentally.'
The mid-year arrival of Annacone surely helped as Federer succeeded in winning three of his late four events: Stockholm, Basle, and the World Tour Finals in London.
'I'm very happy with my team at this stage of the season. I can obviously thank them for great work. It's through their hard work and my condition trainer, my physio, my wife and kids and everybody, it's been wonderful traveling with them. 'It's been intense at times obviously, a lot of sacrifices. But it seems like we made many right decisions towards the end of the season. My body was able to cope with a lot of playing I did.
'I've played five tournaments in seven weeks now. So it's been real intense. Obviously, I feel quite tired and exhausted at this point. But who cares in 20 years, you know. So very happy how I feel right now.'
The latest big title has given Federer even more reason to continues at this high level for as long as possible, with the challenge of Nadal unlikely to waver.
The two elites will renewing their acquaintance in a month at the Abu Dhabi exhibition. 'I want to play as I can, as long as I'm healthy, eager, motivated, which I clearly am,' said the Swiss.
'I've played 10 full seasons in my career and in nine of them I made the World Tour finals. So I've had obviously always long and exhausting seasons. But I seem to enjoy it and take pleasure out of traveling the world, playing against the best, challenging myself in practise and so forth.'
Federer climbed to 8-14 against Nadal, who has lost all three of their matches indoors, all at year-end level events. 'At the moment I have no plans at all stopping, quitting, whatever you want to call it,' said Federer. 'I hope I can play for many more years to come. It's a goal anyway. I think it's possible.'
Read more about Great Britain
Read more about Tennis ATP