Cape Town - Roger Federer has indicated that he has no plans to bring the curtain down on his decorated career at the end of next season.
Federer has been out of action since undergoing knee surgery in July and the former world number one will not return to the court until 2017, as he continues his rehabilitation.
After turning 35, there are question marks over how much longer the 17-time Grand Slam winner will continue to compete.
But when asked if 2017 was likely to be his last season, Federer made it clear that he is still looking to be competing in 2018.
"Stopping for a such long time after 20 years of tennis cannot be anything but positive," Federer told Tennis World USA.
"Playing in 2018? It´s a year away but I clearly still hope to play.
"Retirement is still far away, I only hope that I will decide it and not my body."
Federer is wary of rushing his comeback, although he is pleased with how his recovery is gradually gathering pace.
"I am practicing well, we are going step by step although we could do more," he added.
"We are practicing 90 minutes per day and I am almost 100%. Now we will increase the intensity both in the gym and on the tennis court.
"In the last two months I played less tennis, maybe 10 or 12 times and three times I played more than an hour.
"For the rest, half an hour and sometimes hitting against the wall. I did not want to take risks after all the physical practice I did."