With a record of only 36-13; only one Grand Slam semifinal and one tournament win, the 2013 tennis season is the worst in Roger Federer’s career since he won his first major title in Wimbledon 10 years ago. This kind of low in his career isn’t stopping him from having high expectations heading into next year.

The long break Federer took after the early exit in the US Open didn’t help him in the Shanghai Masters, losing to Gael Monfils in three sets. This is the year that finally makes it seem like it’s over for Federer. After all, the best he’s done this year is win at the Gerry Weber Open, a 250 tournament as preparation for Wimbledon. He’s done terribly all year in Masters and Grand Slams, failing to beat anyone in the top 10.

Federer, Monfils

But Federer believes that his body is still recuperating from an exhausting 2012, in which he won Wimbledon once more while also reaching the Olympic finals. At his age, that kind of season, that included Masters tournament victories and a very strong first six months, it might be too much of a toll to take.

But what is their that makes him believe that things will be better in 2014? Rafael Nadal isn’t going anywhere. Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are here to stay as well. Federer might play less and focus even more on Grand Slams and nothing else, but it doesn’t make him any more likely to pick up more titles before he officially retires, a day that is closer a lot more than he would like to admit.

My mindset now is that next year is going to be a great year again where I’m not going to have that many points to defend, especially at some very key moments where I consider myself a favorite.  For that reason, I’m really looking forward to 2014 already. As long as I’m physically and mentally fine, there’s no reason for me not to be taking part in the big matches. That’s what I’m looking forward to in 2014, to be part of those matches.

The reasoning for Federer to expect a better year in 2014 doesn’t make sense. Was it the pressure of fearing to lose ranking points that held him back, causing him to win only 73% of his matches this season? It seems like looking for excuses to explain what’s obvious to everyone: He simply isn’t good enough and fit enough to be a major force in the Tennis world, only it’s hard for him to recognize that decline, which is quite obvious to everyone else.

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