LONDON (AP) — Roger Federer has won one title in the past 14 months, at a low-key tournament this summer. The ATP Finals are his last chance for a big victory this season.
"I still have another week where I have to give it all. After, it will be long holidays," Federer said after losing to Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday in the Paris Masters semifinals in their first meeting this year.
The pair was placed in the same group at the season-ending, eight-man finals, which start Monday.
Djokovic, who won his 16th straight match in Paris against Federer, is the defending champion in London, where he beat Federer in the final last year. Djokovic also won the title in 2008, while Federer has won it a record six times.
Federer and Djokovic, who faced off for the 30th time, will be playing in a tough Group B that also includes the in-form Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet.
Federer said he will focus on his recovery ahead of Tuesday's match against Djokovic.
"I'm always excited about those challenges," said Federer, who will be competing for the 12th straight year in the ATP Finals. "I have had a good couple of weeks now, and the most important thing is to recover as much as I can, so maybe the extra day I will get over Novak now, who knows, could be an advantage. But I doubt it."
Federer, who won his last Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2012, has only two victories against top-10 opponents in 2013. He registered the first one in January against then-No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Australian Open quarterfinals before a series of defeats against opponents outside the top 50. He confirmed his recent improvements with a win over del Potro in Paris this week.
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