Cape Town - Roger Federer has insisted that there is no reason why he cannot add to his tally of 17 grand slam titles next year.
This year, Federer only featured in two grand slams – the Australian Open and Wimbledon – and showed that he was capable of competing with the best as he reached the semi-final in both events.
However, the Swiss maestro missed the French Open due to a back injury and after Wimbledon, he confirmed that he would end his season early in order to fully recover from the knee injury he had sustained the day after his exit from the Australian Open.
Federer, who had his knee surgically repaired in February after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus, is not letting his setbacks in 2016 dictate his mindset going into the 2017 season. Instead, he is holding his head high and maintaining a positive attitude coming into the new year.
"You would hope it's around the corner and if it's not, it's not," he said when asked if it was possible for him to win his 18th grand slam title. "The mindset is always very positive that it can happen, or it should happen or that I'm doing everything that I possibly can to achieve that.
"So I always speak very positively in my team about my chances of still achieving another grand slam and winning those big matches when it matters, and putting in everything you can physically to be in tip-top shape when that grand slam final or semi comes around."
Federer has fallen to Novak Djokovic in the final of three grand slams since winning his last grand slam trophy at Wimbledon in 2012.
Despite this, the 35-year-old has a renewed hope going into the 2017 season as he witnessed Andy Murray dethrone Djokovic as the world number one and beat the Serb in the final of the ATP World Tour Finals to stay at the summit of the rankings for the rest of the year.
"I've been awfully close the last few years but that doesn't count because it wasn't winning," Federer said. "But Novak did have an incredible run these last few years and it was hard to break through him for anybody, but also myself.
"It's also up to us to reinvent ourselves, to come up with a plan: how can you beat Novak? Andy's showed that a little bit and I think that gives bigger belief for more of the players that maybe there is a bigger chance again to win slams.
"For me personally, I still believe in it and time will tell if it's going to be possible or not."