In an interview to Le Figaro, Roger Federer recalled his first French Open appearance which is dated back to 1999. The Swiss player said: "It's a moment I will never forget. It was not normal that a little Swiss was getting a wild card.
I was the No. 1 junior player, against Pat Rafter on the Suzanne Lenglen, a nice match. It was good, the sky was blue... I won a set. French Open, a big Grand Slam court, with the live television... I will forever be grateful to the French Open, it was at the beginning of the Grand Slams.
It started very well for me in Paris, even if I would have never imagined that I would be back again 20 years after." Asked how it felt to win the French Open in 2009, which his idols Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras have not done, Federer added: "All my career was based on Wimbledon, fast surfaces, like my idols.
I think that not being able to win the French Open did not help me, I think about John McEnroe too, who I like a lot too. If I saw what a French Open win would mean to them, I will not say that the situation would have changed, but...
For me, I had to find a way, deliver how to love Paris, how to love the French Open, that did not come in a natural way because Wimbledon was necessarily the most natural to me." He finally spoke about how it felt to miss the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro: "Despite I am a big fan of tennis and I love watching the matches, when I am not there, I rarely watch.
It's easier that way. Coming back this year is good. It makes me happy. I hope to be healthy."