Fed wants to up his practice/training in 2013 as he realizes his groundgame has become a bit leaky due to the compacted 2012 schedule. This is great news for Fed fans and it should put him right back in the thick of contention!
Thanks for the link FedFan. Yes, the ground game slipped a bit, but I think even more, his service and mental strength slipped toward the end of the season. Almost all year he was around 92-93% service games held and was doing well in tiebreakers. In Basel and WTF, he was broken at crucial times mostly due to poor 1st service percentage (not many free points) and played poor tiebreakers on serve. His ground game as been off at times during the year, but he was quite able to depend on his serve to rescue him much of the time. If not for an excellent second serve win pct. (over 60%), he would have probably been beaten much more.
Also tactically, he didn't seem to be making as many good decisions. Too many times he was hitting it right back at the opponent when he had an open court. I think also he was probably mentally and physically a bit tired. Remember, he won 9 titles in about 10 months from Oct 2011 to August 2012. He peaked at Wimbledon and after recovering from the Olympics, probably Cincinnati was his cleanest tournament of the year. But then after that he just didn't seem to have it when it counted. One might blame fatigue, or as Federer says, lack of practice, but he certainly seemed to have time to practice between his appearance at the US Open and Shanghai, unless family or other matters distracted him.
He seemed out of synch at the WTF, and I'm surprised he even reached the final. He played brilliant shots at times, but was too inconsistent and made too many unforced errors during the tournament. Of course one has to credit Djokovic's steady and relentless defensive play and mental toughness, which is enhanced with the relatively slow O2 surface, but the surface bounces low enough that someone like Federer can hit winners even vs. Djokovic without having to risk as much. Federer woke up and played well vs. Murray staying down to 20 UE's, but couldn't consistently execute as well vs. Djokovic. Federer literally gave that match away with unforced errors at crucial times on his own serve, something he hadn't been doing most of the year.
I think he's going to have to be very very astute about his scheduling from here on to keep his level up. He's not a kid anymore and even he has limits.