Roger Federer's coach Severin Luthi has hinted that the Swissman may have to give up on chasing the number one spot as at his age he has to get his priorities straight and cannot go running after every tournament.
Federer had a disappointing end to the 2017 campaign, losing the ATP World Tour semi-finals to David Goffin, thus ending a fine run, leading to a total of seven titles, including two Grand Slams - the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal, who had an equally impressive season, finishing with two grand slams as well, chose his games wisely and pipped the Swiss man to the top spot.
Nadal sealed the year by reaching the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters before eventually retiring with a knee problem. The run was enough to keep him atop the tables, despite pulling out of the ATP World Finals with an injury after a defeat to Goffin.
It was a near miss for the 19-time Grand Slam winner, who holds the record for the most weeks at No 1 with 302 but has not peaked the rankings since 2012. Federer has already spoken about his desire to be top but understands that pursuing this goal will hamper his performance in the long run.
Luthi believes that for Federer, being fresh is the most important factor which cannot be achieved by running after every tournament. Moreover, he was helped by the absence of a few top contenders through injury, which won't be the case in 2018.
"No 1, you would always like, even more so at 36 years old," Luthi told Swiss outlet Watson, as quoted by the Express. "But at some point, you can no longer pursue every goal. Roger needed to put in hours of work on court, but being fresh is unbelievably important.
"Then, of course, a good start [winning the Australian Open] helped. And finally, without wanting to diminish their successes, Rafa and Roger benefitted from other players' bad form.
"Of course you could ask where he left the crucial points [in the No 1 race] - for example, in the second-round defeat in Dubai. But had he won there, he might not have won in Indian Wells and Miami because two percent freshness was missing."