Federer anticipates grass swing, Wimbledon anniversary

It has been 10 years since Roger Federer won the first of his record-breaking 17 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, and the Swiss is hopeful that his approaching return to grass will help to ease the sting of a straight-sets loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday in the Roland Garros quarter-finals.

The Swiss will open his grass-court campaign at next week’s Gerry Weber Open, where he has won the title five times and a runner up twice including last year (lost to Tommy Haas). In 2003, he defeated Nicolas Kiefer in the final before three weeks later lifting the first of his seven Wimbledon trophies.

“This is obviously a crushing loss and I’m disappointed about it, but now I look forward to other things,” said the 31-year-old Swiss. “I love the grass court season. Especially as it's been 10 years since my first Wimbledon victory. So I'm looking forward to coming back to Halle and Wimbledon, where I did the double 10 years ago. I'm sure it's going to be a nice swing.”

Federer committed an uncharacteristic 34 unforced errors in his straight-sets defeat to Tsonga, but was quick to praise the inspired Frenchman, who is looking to end France’s 30-year wait for a male victor at Roland Garros.

“I think I struggled a little bit everywhere,” said Federer. “To be honest, personally, I'm pretty sad about the match and the way I played. But that's how it goes. I tried to figure things out, but it was difficult. And Jo did a good job keeping the pressure on. He can serve his way out of trouble at times, and I think as well he was just better in all areas.

“I had a great time here in Paris nevertheless. I enjoy myself here,” said the 2009 Roland Garros champion. “I think I played some good tennis. I'm playing pretty good. Today was just not one of those days.  So I've just got to forget quickly, and that I usually do pretty well anyway. It's easier when you change surface. That definitely helps. You have something else to look forward to.”

Federer recorded a milestone win in the fourth round, when he battled past Gilles Simon in five sets to become the fourth man in history to win 900 matches. Pleased with his form in the four matches that he won in Paris, Federer hopes to keep improving in his assault on the grass.

“I'm very satisfied with my first rounds because these were good matches,” said the Basel native. “I never thought it was bad that I was down a few sets against Simon. He's such a good player. I was very happy to enjoy this fight. I was more ready for the rest of the tournament. Not today. It was not the case today. Jo was too strong for me today. So I have to take it and accept it the way it is. I have to focus on the future matches.”

Date: 4th June 2013, Source: ATP


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