Roger Federer is already planning his 2016 assault on the Australian Open, only hours after losing 6-3 6-4 to Novak Djokovic in the final of the World Tour Finals on Sunday.
The Swiss, who had been bidding for a lucky seventh title of the season and a seventh at the year-end showpiece, was unable to gain traction against Djokovic, who won his 11th trophy of a superlative 2015 as he played in his 15th consecutive final of the season.
But Federer is already shaking off the loss and plotting strategy for next season.
“It starts with the Australian Open, which is just around the corner,” said the 17-time grand slam winner. “That’s what I see next.
“Then once Australia’s over, that’s when I look more towards the future.”
Federer’s loss leaves him third in the rankings for the season behind Djokovic and Andy Murray, who sneaked through thanks to the Federer defeat.
But the numbers mean little to the Swiss.
“Usually I go into a season with two or three really big goals, then maybe four or five other ones that are really important to you. I’d like to defend my titles, but right now my mind somehow doesn’t go further than the Australian Open.”
Federer, 34, still maintains the enthusiasm of a much younger player as he looks ahead to the next set of challenges in 2016.
“I’ve got to keep pushing forward, got to keep practising hard, being serious about all the things I do,” he said.
The veteran is not looking for any radical re-make on any part of his already complete game.
“I don’t think there’s that much I need to change, maybe some tactical approaches against some players at times. Of course, you just always got to handle the conditions,” Federer said.
“Focusing maybe just solely on Novak or any other player would be the wrong approach because, I’m going to stay humble, I lost third round last year at the Aussie Open against (Italian Andreas) Seppi. I won’t even say I was surprised because I knew how good he was. It was just a tough day for me.”
He listed some “great things” that worked well in his game during 2015:
“How I’m able to play at net now, how I’m moving and feeling at net in particular is a great thing to have. My serve has been really working very consistently throughout the year, more or less.
“Maybe if I can just get that to work slightly better at times, that would be incredibly helpful.”