Monday, April 18, 2016

Roger Federer feels good about his chances at Roland Garros

Roger Federer opened up about his chances against Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray when they hit the second Grand Slam Event of the year in Paris.

Federer likes his chances in winning the French Open this year despite concerns over his surgically repaired knee, which the Swiss Maestro had tested at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Federer believes he will be one of the handful favorites to win Roland Garros, but also acknowledged the presence of the other members of the Big Four at the event, as well as Stan Wawrinka's bid to defend his French Open title.

"I think and believe that I can be in the group of the favourites when the moment to play Roland Garros comes," Federer said, reports Tennis World USA.

"For their characters and qualities Rafa and Novak are the main opponents just like Wawrinka who is the defending champion. It will be interesting, also because Murray played good last year on clay, I hope he can raise his level. It's always interesting the period that brings us at the Roland Garros."

Federer won his only Roland Garros title in 2009 and lost four finals appearances against Nadal, who conquered the French Open for an unprecedented nine major titles, thus earning the moniker King of Clay. With Nadal's form dipping this season, Federer may have a shot at winning Roland Garros and extend his all-time Grand Slam records.

Another concern for Federer heading into Paris is Djokovic, who has been in remarkable form despite the Serb's early exit at the Monte Carlo Masters. Federer has yet to top Djokovic in big events since 2012, when the Swiss defeated Nole in the semifinal round of Wimbledon en route to his 17th career major title victory.

Djokovic will have plenty of rest and competitive matches leading up to Roland Garros, which should keep him sharp just in time for the clay-court finale.

As for Murray and Wawrinka, the two have yet to muster victories in major and ATP 1000 Masters tournaments this season.

After a promising performance early in the season, reaching the final round of the Australian Open and helping Great Britain advance into the next round of the Davis Cup, Murray has not been able to maintain his form.

The Scot suffered early round losses in Indian Wells and Miami Open, and just when it seems he would finally score his first title of the season at the Monte Carlo Masters, Nadal stopped him in the semifinal round.

There should be plenty of factors that could affect Federer's bid at the French Open this season, including his health and knee that forced him to be sidelined for more than two months. But the 34-year-old is positive about his game and expects to be in top shape ahead by the time he arrives in Paris.

"I'm returning a lot better. It's better than other beginnings of the clay-court season," Federer said, reports the ATP's official website. "I don't know if it's because of the new racquet. I'll have to keep that and my serve will come as I play more matches."

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