Roger Federer revealed that he wanted to be among the top-eight of ATP Men's singles ranking after this year's Wimbledon but that he is quite surprised with the early success in the season, especially after coming back from a long injury-layoff that saw him miss competitive action in the second half of 2016.
The 34-year-old, who battled against the odds to clinch his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year, worked his way through a tough draw at the ATP Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament. Federer did not drop a set in the tournament and outclassed compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to in the title match yesterday to win his fifth title at Indian Wells.
Federer has proved his doubters wrong with two commanding performances early in the season. While he edged past the likes of Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych, an in-form Mischa Zverev in Melbourne, the Swiss great has outclassed his arch rival Rafael Nadal twice (Australian Open final and Indian Wells R16) to assert his dominance over the rest of the pack on his comeback run.
Having started Australian Open as the world number 17, Federer has exceeded expectations of himself and his fans as he has moved to the sixth spot after yesterday's win over Wawrinka. The focus now for the in-form Swiss is the Miami Open and following the withdrawals of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who have shared the title for the last six years, he will fancy his chances of winning the title there as well.
While he had reportedly maintained that he would skip a part of clay season to concentrate on Wimbledon, Federer says he will reassess his plans after the early success this season.
"I am not as surprised as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me, nevertheless, to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did. It is an absolute, huge start to the year for me. Yeah, last year didn't win any titles. The change is dramatic, and it feels great," Federer spoke of his Sunday's win at Indian Wells, as quoted by the Tennis World Magazine.
"In November, you know, December, when I realized things were going well, and we had a meeting about what are the goals for the season in terms of rankings, it is really super secondary, but I wanted to set -- or we wanted to set some goals for the season, and the goal was to be top 8 by after Wimbledon.
"Because if I would have lost early in Australia, I would have dropped to 35 in the world. It's great, but you definitely have to reassess your goals maybe now and see, Where do you go from here? Because this was not part of the plan, to win Australia and Indian Wells, I can tell you that"