'Roger Federer plays tennis the best but...', says ATP ace

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'Roger Federer plays tennis the best but...', says ATP ace

In 2006, Roger Federer reached the first Roland Garros final, falling to Rafael Nadal in four sets and heading straight to Halle to kick off the grass-court season. Undefeated on the fastest surface since Wimbledon 2002, when Mario Ancic stunned him in the first round, Roger made a swift transition from clay to grass, which is never an easy task.

He struggled to find his rhythm, but no one was strong enough to beat him in one of his favorite tournaments. The Swiss overcame five hurdles, defended the title and equaled Bjorn Borg's record before taking a well-earned break ahead of Wimbledon.

In the first round, Federer dispatched doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna 7-6 6-2 in 71 minutes, saving both break chances and dropping the Indian behind in the second set to book a place in the round of 16. Richard Gasquet pushed Roger to the limit for two hours and 14 minutes before the defending champion prevailed 7-6 6-7 6-4.

Federer won just three points more than Gasquet, who kept him on the baseline most of the time. The Frenchman took the second set, but failed to cause an upset and make Roger walk away. After a big challenge, Federer had to prepare for an even tougher one against his friend and classmate Olivier Rochus.

Somehow, Federer found a way to recover the break and lengthen the battle. The match went to a deciding tie-break, and Roger converted on the sixth match point to secure a place in the semi-finals.

Bedene reflects on Roger Federer

When asked for his two cents on the topic, Aljaz Bedene pointed out that the GOAT race is currently only between Nadal and Djokovic, even though he believes Roger Federer plays a more attractive brand of tennis.

"I think there are only two of them in the race now," Bedene said. "OK, Federer plays tennis the best, that's for sure, but I believe that Nole will be the player with the most other slams and masters. In the end, he will be the one - GOAT."

While admitting that he is physically a bit spent, Bedene asserted that he is in much better shape than he was at the Lyon Open a week ago. "I will see how I will be physically, it was not easy in the first two rounds, but I won in four sets, certainly better than in five, ha-ha," Bedene said.

"It still feels a little bit that I was lying down before the tournament in Lyon, but I managed to surprise myself how long I lasted in these two matches, especially since I was tired before."