BASEL (Reuters) - Roger Federer has his sights set on ending the year as the world’s top-ranked player after the 33-year-old claimed his fifth title of the year in his home town on Sunday.
The 17-times grand slam champion outclassed David Goffin 6-2 6-2 to win the Swiss Indoor tournament in Basel for a sixth time, moving ever closer to Serbian Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings in the process.
A strong finish at the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals could see him end the year as number one for the first time since 2009 -- proof that his skills are not in decline despite the advancing years and two sets of twins.
“It would be very special, you can’t say it’s not important, world number one, it’s what it’s all about really, together with some tournaments you really care about,” Federer told the ATP’s official television channel after his 51-minute thrashing of Goffin.
”With the year I’ve had and the amount of finals I’ve played, the level of tennis I’ve played, I‘m really pleased that I have a shot at being there.
“But I‘m sure Novak will be very motivated. It’s going to be interesting weeks ahead.”
Federer, whose 302 weeks as world number one is a record, as is his streak of 237 consecutive weeks atop the rankings, is less than 500 points behind Djokovic with a combined 2,500 points up for grabs in Paris and London.
Djokovic won both of those titles last year and therefore cannot significantly add to his haul as he will be defending points, while Federer lost in the semi-finals at both events and can potentially close the gap.
Federer was at his majestic best at times against Goffin, the Belgian who has rediscovered his best form since Wimbledon, winning 43 out of 45 matches, including on the Challenger Tour, to rocket up the world standings.
He was never in with a chance against Federer though as the local boy delighted his fans with a faultless display to take his career title tally to 82 and extend his winning streak to 12 matches after his title in Shanghai.
The first two of those wins came as Federer helped steer Switzerland into the Davis Cup final against France.
Writing by Martyn Herman in London; Editing by Rex Gowar