Roger Federer is feeling much ‘clearer’ and confident at Roland Garros following his first round win against Denis Istomin.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has returned to tennis after a long lay-off due to injury and although he admits his target is to be back to full form for Wimbledon, he is not ruling out possible success at Roland Garros.
The Swiss ace says it has taken him some time to get comfortable with new procedures implemented while he was away from the game, some of which have come due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now he is feeling more settled.
“I just felt overall much clearer, much better,” said Federer, after his first round win.
“I think [I’m] getting used to tournament and match rhythm again, the whole thing – the towels there, the shot clock there and everything that goes with it. I really felt like I didn’t find the rhythm [in Geneva].”
Federer, who is joint record-holder with Rafael Nadal, on 20 Grand Slam singles titles each, had said before Roland Garros that he wasn’t realistically targeting success at the French Open, more match practice.
However, he says as long as he can compete at a good level, against good players, why shouldn’t he hope for something more in Paris.
“For me coming back after many months or over a year of rehab, the light at the end of the tunnel or the measuring stick was always: Can I come back to a good level against good players?” said Federer.
“I hope Wimbledon is going to be that place. Maybe there’s going to be even something here in Paris. We’ll see.
“I hope I can stay healthy from now on forward.
“I’m quite confident that’s going to stay that way. I’ve also been getting better every month that’s [gone] by, which has been really positive. I didn’t have any setbacks in a year.”
Federer will face 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic in the second round.
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