I'm sure all true Federer fans have been holding their breath waiting for his announcement one way or the other regarding the Shanghai tournament that starts next week. It came today via Facebook: "Looking forward to going back to China and playing in the Shanghai Rolex Masters. I have always enjoyed China and I can't wait to see my great Chinese fans again. See you soon!"
When he put the following picture on Facebook a few days ago that said "back in the gym" I thought it might mean he was playing, but wanted to hear it for sure.
Though I am always pretty curious when I'm not sure whether he will decide to follow through on a tournament he's scheduled for when he's been extra busy, this one had a lot of significance due to where things stand with the ranking points. Roger is currently 1,335 points ahead of Novak Djokovic in the 52 week ranking system. He also, as of today, has a record 298 weeks at #1. With Novak playing the 500 level tournament this week in Beijing he could cut that down to 885 points if he wins the tournament, which is probably pretty likely with the field he's playing against. Roger needs to play Shanghai if he wants to be sure to hang onto #1 and make it to at least 300 weeks.
Novak is feeling pretty motivated to get the year end ranking, which he certainly has a pretty good chance at being he doesn't have many points to defend from last year, whereas Roger won everything he played, including the 1,500 point World tour Finals. He would have to be playing his absolute best and be incredibly motivated to achieve all that again. But hey, we're talking about Roger Federer, so it all remains to be seen!
Next week is suddenly looking quite exciting to me!