Federer "mentally right" for more success
Roger Federer believes the break he took after the US Open helped him regain his mental strength to win three straight titles.
The 30-year-old has not enjoyed his usual success in 2011 with no Grand Slam victories and very few tournament successes, as he found either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal too good for him.
But, after his semi-final defeat to the Serbian world number one at Flushing Meadows, the Swiss ace opted to take a four-week break to recharge the batteries both physically and mentally.
And it certainly did the trick as he won his comeback tournament in his home town of Basel, before scoring again in Paris and ending his season in fine style by beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win the ATP World Tour Finals crown.
Despite not reaping the rewards in terms of titles this season, Federer has remained competitive throughout the year but has been unable to win the close matches - something that has been the hallmark of his success over the past decade.
But he was able to do that at London's O2 Arena on Sunday as he fought back from the loss of the second set to beat the Frenchman 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 6-3 to claim the season finale for the sixth time.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner has now won 17 straight matches since the US Open and looks right back to his imperious best and he feels that he is now once again tuned into what he has to do to beat the best in the sport.
"I think it's a mental thing, yes. Not only," he said. "Sometimes it's also the player playing better than you. Jo played better than me at Wimbledon. Maybe not much, but enough just to come through.
"Same as Rafa at the French Open in the final, Novak in the semis of the US Open. It's fine to respect that. But I feel when it happens that often, I do have to question myself that maybe I did something wrong."
Federer is adamant that he can win another 'Slam and feels that time away from the court was the best thing possible for helping him regain the edge required to win titles.
"I think I'm mentally good right now," he added. "That was also one of the reasons why I did take some time off, to actually think it through, get into the right mental mindset."