LONDON 2012 silver medallist Roger Federer hopes to play at the Rio Olympics in 2016, but former world No1 Boris Becker believes that ambition is “far fetched”.
Federer reached the Swiss Indoors second round yesterday to maintain his charge towards the World Tour finals at the O2 Arena.
But after a forgettable year for the 32-year-old, whose only title came at Halle in June, Becker has questioned his longevity.
“Next year is an important year for him,” said Becker. “It will be very hard in 12 months time to not only have not won a slam, but to go out in the second or third round of tournaments he’s won six or seven times before. Then he has to realise that maybe Rio is a bit far fetched.
“There’s always the argument when you’ve been on top for so long that you want to finish with a grand slam win and then retire into the sunset, but that’s Hollywood. You don’t write a script like that because no-one would read it.
“I think we should respect and give him the time that he needs to finish the career on his own terms. He’s too smart to keep playing and losing in the second round and say he’s happy with that.”
Federer is currently placed eighth in the Race to London rankings, though the absence of Britain’s Andy Murray due to injury means a place in the top nine will be sufficient.
The Swiss’s presence in Greenwich is not guaranteed with ranking points still up for grabs at next week’s Paris Masters, but Becker is refusing to entertain the possibility this could be the final year Federer competes in the Capital.
“I think he’s come to terms with the fact that he may not qualify, but he’s not going to change his schedule,” added Becker.
“I think he’s accepted this year is below par, he cannot afford another year like that. But I have a good feeling about next year. He’s too good a player not to have another go at something, so that means he will be competing next year.”
The Paris Masters and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals are part of an unrivalled autumn of live sport on Sky Sports including Premier League, Champions League, Autumn Internationals, the Ashes and the finale of the F1 season.