Roger Federer comfortable with underdog status

Roger Federer celebrates his win over Kevin Anderson during round two of the Paris Masters on October 30, 2013
Roger Federer says that he will swing with more freedom against Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Roger Federer has tried to take the pressure off himself ahead of his last-four encounter with Rafael Nadal at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion has suffered a decline this season, underlined by early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open, while also slipping to seventh in the rankings.

In contrast, the Spaniard has enjoyed a remarkable comeback season, winning at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows on his way to retaking the number-one ranking from Novak Djokovic.

"I just feel like I need to look at it more as being an underdog a little bit because of circumstances, because of my year, because of his year," Federer told Sky Sports News.

"Maybe that free swinging is what I need to do a little bit more. We know each other that well.

"Hopefully it's going to match up good for me. If not, he deserves it. He's had a wonderful season."

Nadal holds a 21-10 head-to-head advantage over the Swiss star and has won their last three meetings.

Roger Federer celebrates his win over Juan Martin Del Potro during the quarter finals of the Paris Masters on November 1, 2013
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ATP RankingsPoints
1Scotland flag Andy Murray7,750
2Spain Rafael Nadal7,555
3Switzerland Roger Federer7,145
4Switzerland Stanislas Wawrinka5,780
5Serbia Novak Djokovic5,325
6Croatia Marin Cilic5,155
7Alexander Zverev4,470
8Austria Dominic Thiem4,030
9Japan Kei Nishikori3,285
10Canada Milos Raonic3,230
11Bulgaria Grigor Dimitrov3,070
12France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga2,770
13Belgium David Goffin2,560
14Spain Roberto Bautista Agut2,425
15Czech Republic Tomas Berdych2,390
16United States Jack Sock2,335
17Pablo Carreno Busta2,305
18Lucas Pouille2,220
19United States John Isner2,110
20United States Sam Querrey2,060