Federer: "I can go extremely far in Wimbledon"

Roger Federer believes that his 2011 Wimbledon destiny remains firmly in his own hands, hinting that his best form – if he can produce it when it counts - will be good enough to beat chief rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for a record-tying seventh title. In a candid admission Tuesday, Federer contrasted his confidence on grass with his assessment of his recent run at Roland Garros.

"It feels like if things go well for me, I can go extremely far here; whereas at the French Open I feel it's a bit more on other opponents' racquets. But here I feel it's a bit more on mine."

Accompanying that self belief is the pressure of knowing that this is likely Federer's best chance of the year to win a Grand Slam title. "I've won the tournament six times. That's why I'll always play with some pressure here at Wimbledon just because of the occasion and what it means to me. I was nervous going out in today's match really," admitted Federer.

After breaking through for his first Grand Slam title in 2003 at the All England Club, Federer has amassed 16 Grand Slam titles, six of which have come at Wimbledon. Should he claim this year’s title, he’ll tie Pete Sampras’ Open Era record of seven crowns, a record Federer would be proud to share with the American. "Obviously tying Pete in any stats means you're right up there with maybe the greatest, one of the greatest players of all times, and that's always a nice thing."

Added the Swiss, “Winning Wimbledon alone without any records is amazing. Whatever it is, it's positive. Right now I just won my first match, so six more to go. I have to take it one at a time.”

Federer, who is making his 13th consecutive appearance at Wimbledon, made his major mark at The Championships in 2000, when he stunned Sampras in five sets to knock out the four-time defending champion. Reflecting on that match, Federer noted that the conditions have changed dramatically since his famous victory over Sampras 11 years ago. "The conditions have slowed down immensely over the years," said Federer.

"The surfaces are much slower now, so you need to find different ways of winning the point, which is fine. I like to grind it out and go through 10, 20 shot rallies sometimes to win the point and break the opponent's will down. The game has definitely changed with strings and balls over the last 10 years."

Date: 22.06.2011, Source: ATP


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