Vilas is predicting Federer to win the Rome title next year (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Argentine legend Guillermo Vilas is expecting Roger Federer to bounce back strongly next season despite a disappointing 2013 so far for the Swiss.
By Federer's standards, 2013 has been quite a let down. His ranking has dropped out of the top four for the first time in many years and he has not been past the semi-finals of any of the Grand Slams, losing in the quarter-finals of the French Open and the second round of Wimbledon.
He's won just a single title, on the grass of Halle and his recent surprise defeats to Federico Delbonis and Daniel Brands on the clay of Hamburg and Gstaad have left many pundits questioning whether the Swiss should consider retirement.
Federer has hit back angrily at his critics and Vilas believes that he still has many years left at the top of the game.
“I know Federer well and he is not thinking of retiring," Vilas told Spanish newspaper Marca. "He's already done everything he had to do and now he's interested in achieving new things."
"Federer is going to continue because he loves playing tennis and he likes engaging with people. He has always loved achieving new things and working for them. I don't see he has any obligation to achieve anything else."
Vilas went on to make a very brave prediction. Federer has yet to win the Rome Masters title, losing twice to Rafael Nadal in the final and Vilas believes that he may break that duck next year.
“I think Federer will win Rome next year,” he said. “This year he reached the final and lost, but he realised that to win this tournament, you need to have time beforehand and prepare yourself well."
"Next year, it could be that Nadal is already thinking about Roland Garros and that would go in Roger's favour. I think that next season will be very interesting between Nadal and Federer.”