Roger Federer says he has surprised himself with how well he is playing at the French Open, but there is ‘no way’ he is beating Novak Djokovic.
Federer and Djokovic are in the same section of the Roland Garros draw and will meet in the quarterfinals should they both progress that far.
However, after producing a fine performance to beat Marin Cilic in four sets, Federer said he doesn’t see himself anywhere near the level required to beat the world number one yet.
“I still do believe there’s no way I’m going to go really, really super deep here or go past the Novak section,” Federer told the Tennis Channel.
“The first round I didn’t surprise myself per se, but now in the second round, I did.
“Now can I keep it up and how will the body react? We’ll see. The mind is getting stronger, I can feel it.
“I have more clarity, I have more confidence growing in me.”
It was Federer’s longest match since the 2020 Australian Open, and he added that he was pleasantly surprised at how his fitness stood up to the test.
“I feel like I surprised myself a little bit,” he said. “I didn’t expect myself to play that well or to have the energy left at the end like this and being able to keep on serving so consistently at the end was great.”
“This is what I need right now. Actually, I think I felt really good on the court.
“For me it will be interesting to see how I will feel tomorrow, because clearly it will feel very different from Istomin, [having] two days off to Cilic, [having] one day off. That will be a good test for me.
“Overall I’m very happy how I’m feeling and also confident that tomorrow I’ll feel fine somehow.”
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