For Roger Federer fans the fall indoor season drifts away.
Yes, tennis is still being played in far away exotic locales in the far East like Beijing, Tokyo and now Shanghai where the men will meet for the Masters 1000 tournament starting this week.
Murray, of course, is the Shanghai defending champion.
Earlier, Federer announced withdrawing from the Shanghai Masters scheduled to begin on October 10 because of nagging injuries.
He is not alone. Novak Djokovic has also announced his withdrawal along with Robin Soderling, Gael Monfils and Juan Martin del Potro to name a few players banged up, injured and generally unable to compete after 10-plus months on tour.
That gives the Swiss time to rest and repair before his hometown tournament in Basel, beginning October 30 where Federer is the defending champion. Basel will provide an excellent opportunity for Federer to face off against Djokovic who also plans to rejoin the tour at that tournament.
Basel marks the beginning of the end for Federer, using the tournament as preparation to defend his year-end title in London which starts November 20. Federer won his fifth ATP championship title there in 2010, overcoming Nadal in the final.
For the man who has accomplished so much—what exactly is in store for the Swiss Maestro as he heads into year No. 14 on the men’s tour?
Here are the boldest of bold predictions for Federer as he faces another year on tour...
Although the twin girls are delightful, Mirka and Roger will hope to add a son to their family.
Perhaps one of the more stable couples in professional sports, the girls—Myla Rose and Charlene Riva— are kept out of the spotlight by their more famous parents.
But Roger and Mirka will undoubtedly hope to add to their family now that the girls have reached age two.
You have to believe that part of Federer’s dream is to create, not only a perfect game on court, but a son who may play the game just the way his father envisioned it.
It is the ultimate Federer fan dream!
Expect the happy announcement in 2012.
By the end of 2011, Roger Federer will fall to World No. 4 in the ATP Rankings. He will be overtaken by Andy Murray prior to the start of the ATP World Tour finals in London.
Playing a very reduced schedule in order to conserve his strength, Federer had to stand by and watch as an on-fire Murray stalked and overtook him.
Still, there is little difference between being ranked three and being ranked four. You can say that as your ranking starts to go south.
But rest assured, Federer will not allow his ranking to dip any lower than four because it would be detrimental to his seeding at majors in 2012 and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Federer will be defending 1,500 points as the WTF Champion of 2010. He also won tournaments in Basel and Stockholm in 2010 and made the finals in Shanghai, losing to Murray. Points earned in Stockholm and Shanghai will fall off Federer’s total because he is not playing those events in 2011.
Murray, of course, has been quoted in the press as stating his goal for the remainder of this year is to surpass Federer as the No. 3 player in the world, which will easily happen when Murray picks up another thousand points.
Murray will do enough to surpass Federer before the year ends, making it the first in nine years that Federer has not finished ranked as one of the top two.
Roger Federer first played on Switzerland’s Davis Cup team in 1999. He has played in 20 Davis Cup ties for Switzerland, winning 30 and losing six in singles.
In doubles, Federer has participated in 11 winning efforts, while losing in six, giving him an overall record of 41-12 since 1999.
The furthest Switzerland has advanced during these years was to the semifinals in 2003 where the Swiss lost to Australia that year 3-2. Federer lost an epic five-set match to Aussie Lleyton Hewitt that year to see Australia advance to the finals.
In 2012, Switzerland will host the United States in the first round of the World group. It will be the fourth time these two nations have met in a Davis Cup tie. The upcoming match will begin on February 10, 2012.
Roger Federer, teamed with Stanislas Wawrinka, will defeat the US and advance to the World Group quarterfinals to be held the weekend of April 6-8.
Since Federer has never taken Switzerland to a Davis Cup final, it will be his push to do so in 2012—which he will accomplish, even in this year of the 2012 Olympics.
Three weeks after the great Wimbledon tournament ends in 2012, the All-England Club will play host to the Summer Olympics—at least the tennis portion of it.
Roger Federer will once again be attempting to win singles gold on Centre Court where the Swiss has enjoyed so much success throughout his career.
Of course, in 2008, Federer along with countryman Stanislas Wawrinka won Olympic gold in tennis doubles, but his best finish in singles since his first participation in 2000 was fourth place—just out of the running for a medal at the Sydney Olympics.
In 2004, Federer was upset by Czech Tomas Berdych in the second round. In 2008, Federer found defeat at the hands of James Blake during the quarterfinals of singles competition.
Winning a gold medal in singles is still on the Maestro’s bucket list, and London will give him the perfect setting. Additionally, Federer will have just competed on the grounds during the actual grand slam event ending the first week of July.
Federer will find a way to win another Olympic medal—hopefully gold—in 2012 either in singles or in mixed doubles with partner Martina Hingis. The two partnered successfully before at the Hopman Cup in 2001.
That would be a great pairing for both at this stage of their respective careers.
Going for the gold in 2012 will be Federer's last chance at further Olympic glory.
Federer has not exactly set the world on fire winning titles in 2011. That he left to Novak Djokovic who broke or equalled a couple of Federer records in the Serb's quest for perfection this year.
Federer started the year winning the tournament in Doha. It was his only tournament win.
Since that time, he reached the finals at Dubai, losing to Djokovic, and the finals at Roland Garros, losing to Rafael Nadal.
Additionally, Federer reached the semifinals at the 2011 Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and the US Open, losing to either to Djokovic or Nadal.
Federer also lost in the quarterfinals three times and twice the Swiss fell in the third round.
Federer will win his 18th Masters tournament shield in the spring or in the fall of 2012, but not during the summer when the sidewalks sizzle.
The Swiss will win his 10th Tour 500 event, if not in Basel in 2011, then in Basel in 2012.
Roger Federer will win slam No. 17 at the Australian Open. That is when the former World No. 1 will be strongest—at the beginning of the year.
Adding Davis Cup competition and the Summer Olympics to his 2012 schedule, the Swiss will be conserving his energy and managing his calendar with a very conservative bent.
Ranking will not matter to Federer as long as he stays in the top four. At this point, being the top seed in one quarter of the draw for the majors is all the Swiss seeks in 2012.
After an abbreviated fall schedule of play plus the layoff in December, Federer will be looking for a huge leap in Australia where he traditionally plays well.
Since 2003, Federer has never finished lower than the Australian Open semifinals, winning the grand slam four times in his career.
By winning the Australian Open in 2012, Federer would have five wins at each of the majors except the French Open—another grand slam record that no one will come close to equalling.
The Swiss will gear his energies early to capturing his 17th slam.
After that, the year gets complicated with Davis Cup ties in February and April, plus the Olympics in August.
To date, Federer has won five ATP year-end championships, tying him with Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl.
But Federer would love to hold this record alone by capturing title No. 6, setting him a step ahead of everyone else.
Aided by the fast courts at the Barclays tournament in London, Federer will claim the championship title once more—either in 2011 or in 2012.
Federer previously won the title in 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2010.
Sampras won his fifth title in 1999. Ivan Lendl last took the trophy in New York City in 1987. Lleyton Hewitt is the only other active player to have won the tournament more than once.
Rafael Nadal has never won this title, and will battling hard in 2011 to make sure he adds it to his own list of accomplishments.
This is another record the Swiss can add to his impressive resume—another mark that will be hard for any other to erase. Therefore, the Swiss will do his best to bring this one home in 2012.
Roger Federer has a number of opportunities to reach some major milestones in 2012 with upcoming Davis Cup action and the Olympics as his priorities. But the world No. 3 is always in the hunt for the opportunity to capture another major to add to his record total of 16.
What that means is that his ranking may suffer as he tries to conserve as much of his energy as possible to give him additional fuel for Davis Cup competition and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Federer will, of course, compete at the four majors plus all required masters level tournaments.
Many have speculated that Federer might retire after the 2012 Summer Olympics but the Swiss Maestro is still playing impressive tennis—perhaps not at the level he did from 2004-07.
The man, however, can still take your breath away with some amazing shot-making. Retirement is not on his mind.
No one knows exactly when the moment will come, but those of us who appreciate the level of tennis the Swiss brings to the court hope that walking away from tennis for Federer is years away.
The game would not be the same without the No. 1 Swiss ready to take the court.