Roger Federer: 'I gave myself the best shot for grass'

Tennis - The Swiss player comes back to speak about decision to skip Roland Garros

by Luigi Gatto
Roger Federer: 'I gave myself the best shot for grass'

For Roger Federer, skipping Roland Garros for the second year in a row, although he didn't have any injury, wasn't easy. But the Swiss player had a long-term perspective, he thought about Wimbledon and the rest of the season.

'I think at the end of the day that was the decision for me, not to have any compromise really,' the seven time Wimbledon champion said. 'Gave myself the best chance for the grass, so I would never look back and have regrets once I came here.

I was ready to play in Paris. I just didn’t feel ready to go yet, to come back in Madrid or Rome. When I decided that with the team, I got on the clay, sort of a couple weeks before the French Open, even though I was happy on the clay for a couple days, I just felt like, You know what, anything other than winning there feels like I’m not giving myself the best chance for Wimbledon.

I’m 35 years old. I’ve won the French Open once. This is not clearly an ideal preparation. I’ll be fresh, that’s the positive. But negative is, I haven’t had any matches whatsoever. I kind of never regretted it, even though it hurt, because it was the first time I pulled out of a slam actually feeling 100% ready to go.' He spoke well-rounded about the players who can go far in the tournament, and he mentioned many names: 'I think that Zverev and Kyrgios have shown what they can do, how good they can be.

You know, the likes of Raonic and Nishikori and Dimitrov I think are in a good spot right now where, you know, they can go very deep and nobody would really be surprised. Away from those five players, I’m not sure how deep we’re talking about.

Are we talking about winning Wimbledon? That’s going to be obviously a longshot. I’m sure I forgot a few, but I think those five we know what they can do. Then I think Dominic Thiem, I think he’s got great power where he can go deep at any major at this point, even though grass is maybe not his most natural surface.' 'But I do believe the favorites are the other players.

I include the likes of Cilic into that, Stan, guys who have done it before. If he’s anything close to 100% physically, I consider him one of the big favorites to win the tournament. It’s that simple. It’s the same for Novak and the same for Rafa.

I think it’s very even when we put it all out on the line. Everybody has their own little story right now. For me, everything that happened sort of before, Queen’s for Andy, whatever, doesn’t matter so much because I feel like Andy’s one of the best players in the first week at Wimbledon, so I don’t worry too much for him there.

He can play himself into shape hopefully for week two. Look, Novak is just coming back from winning Eastbourne now. Rafa is coming in red hot from the clay. So I see it positive for them rather than negative in some shape, which I’m sure people will try to see that way.

But I see that they are going to be tough to beat here.' ALSO READ: McEnroe: 'Federer seems to be the Six Million Dollar Man'

Roger Federer Roland Garros