- ATP Tour
Federer backs Murray to become world No. 1
Roger Federer believes Andy Murray could become world No.1 before the end of the season.
Murray has set his sights on reaching the top of the world rankings following his US Open victory last month and Federer admits that it is an achievable goal for the Scot.
Speaking ahead of the Shanghai Masters, where he has been the subject of a death threat, Federer believes Murray could even become the world's top-ranked player by the end of 2012.
"Yes, he can do it," Federer said. "He should be able to have that goal. He has results that back up his chances.
"His next nine months are going to be extremely interesting to follow. I hope for him he can achieve it eventually. It would be very wrong if he said he wanted to become world No. 2 now.
"I think maybe at the end of the year [he can do it], maybe the beginning of next year. Or, if not then, he's got a shot until next Wimbledon almost - if he were to win there."
Federer, who won his 17th grand slam by beating Murray in the final at Wimbledon this summer, pointed to that result as the catalyst for the Brit's impressive summer that saw him land Olympic gold before breaking his major duck in New York.
"I think he's done so well," Federer said. "His reaction was amazing after not winning Wimbledon against me. Then coming back to win the Olympics and bringing the victory home for his first grand slam at the US Open was great to see.
"I was very impressed and I'm sure that's going to give him confidence for what's to come. How me, Novak [Djokovic] and Rafa [Nadal] - whenever he comes back - and the rest of the players will play will have a little bit of an impact. But, overall, Andy has some control over that himself now."