'That's the place where Roger Federer feels the best', says top coach

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'That's the place where Roger Federer feels the best', says top coach

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic met at the same Major only once in 2021 due to Federer and Nadal's injuries. Three legends were grouped in the same half at Roland Garros, and reached the round of 16, as they have almost every time in the last 15 years.

They weren't in the same position though, with Federer still dealing with that serious knee injury and testing his game in Paris ahead of the grass-court tour. While Djokovic and Nadal reached the last 16 without dropping a set, Federer had to dig deep in the third round against Dominik Koepfer, prevailing in four tight sets after three and a half hours!

After the match, Federer said that he would rather be in the shoes of Nadal or Djokovic, as he doesn't know how his knee would react after such a difficult encounter and by far the toughest challenge for him in the last year and a half.

As we all know, Roger withdrew before the fourth round clash with Matteo Berrettini to take care of his knee for Halle and Wimbledon. “It's funny in a way not knowing, like in 2017 when I came back or when nobody knows, I don't even know what's possible.

It's got a fun angle, but I'd prefer it another way. He would rather be in Rafa's or Novak's place right now and say: 'I feel good. If I play well, I'm winning.' I don't have that feeling right now; all of these are stepping stones to something meaningful.

It's the season and it's the return. I need games like these. I hadn't practiced for three and a half hours because that's always pushing it. I pushed as hard as I could as we thought it was reasonable. Today's match was a big step forward for the team and for all of us.

I didn't expect to win three matches here and back up a strong performance against Cilic in completely different circumstances tonight. It was not easy for me to go out tonight. There are many 'firsts' for me: playing Koepfer in my first night session here in Paris, the first time without fans in a long time, if ever in my career.

Federer is enjoying his retirement

While speaking to Marion Bartoli on her podcast, Ivan Ljubicic mentioned that Roger Federer has continued to train and would like to have fun on the court as feels his best there. "He still practices when he can, he is still staying active, and he feels good.

His life hasn't changed much. I know he would like to have fun on the tennis courts, that's the place where he feels the best," said the Croat.