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Reenergised Federer ready for Cincy

ESPN staff
August 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Roger Federer believes his summer slump is behind him © AP
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Roger Federer insists he is back to full fitness and raring to get his season back on track as he bids to defend his Cincinnati Masters title.

The 17-time grand slam champion has been struggling to recapture his game this summer, following up his stunning second-round loss at Wimbledon with exits at clay court events in Hamburg and Gstaad, all to players ranked outside the world's top 50.

The 32-year-old conceded that a bad back had played its part in his rough patch, "But now I'm fit again and I'm mentally motivated, which is very important at this part of the year right now," he told reporters in Cincinnati.

Federer, who skipped the Rogers Cup, has experimented with a new racket with a larger head since Wimbledon and will continue to use the new frame in Ohio.

"I was ready to get over the Wimbledon loss as quick as I could, which I did," Federer said. "I took a short break and then started practicing extremely hard and things were great.

"I tested rackets and was ready to go to Hamburg and Gstaad and really play tournaments I really enjoy playing, but I couldn't enjoy them in the end because I just had too many problems with my back and my body."

Federer beat Novak Djokovic 6-0 7-6 in last year's final, his fifth victory in the top players' last tune-up event before the US Open, but the Swiss knows that there is plenty more than tinkering resting on his performance this week.

"Getting my game back together, really, and my body," Federer said of his priorities. "So far so good. I'm motivated. I'm feeling better and I am entering Cincinnati with a good mindset. Right now, it's key.

"Now if I could win more matches, that would be good. I did win a title here, and that makes me think I can do something great here. As at every other event, you always struggle in the first round."

Men's rankings: 1. Novak Djokovic (SRB), 2. Andy Murray (GBR), 3. Rafael Nadal (ESP), 4. David Ferrer (ESP), 5. Roger Federer (SUI), 6. Tomas Berdych (CZE), 7. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG), 8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), 10. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI), 10. Milos Raonic (CAN).

Women's rankings: 1. Serena Williams (USA), 2. Victoria Azarenka (BLR), 3. Maria Sharapova (RUS), 4. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), 5. Li Na (CHN), 6. Sara Errani (ITA), 7. Marion Bartoli (FRA), 8. Angelique Kerber (GER), 9. Petra Kvitova (CZE), 10. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN).

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