Roger Federer: "Mentally I have already switched to the grass"

As Roger Federer bid adieu to the Parisian faithful in his earliest exit at Roland Garros since 2004, the Swiss maestro already stated his eagerness to begin his grass-court campaign.

Federer succumbed to a free-swinging Ernests Gulbis on Sunday, suffering his first five-set defeat in seven such matches in the French capital. Following the loss, the father of four expressed his desire to hit the lawns of Halle, for the Gerry Weber Open, next week.

“Mentally I have already switched to the grass, to be quite honest,” said Federer. “For me, it's like, ‘the clay-court season was fun, but we are moving on.’ Clay doesn't need me anymore, I got flushed out here.

“I'm looking forward to playing Halle and Wimbledon now. I do feel I can still win it. I’m very excited about my chances. Clearly first the focus is on Halle, try to defend my title there. It's nice going back to a place where I have to defend something. Hasn't been like this for a while, so that's something I'm looking forward to.

“I think when I'm healthy, like I have been now for the last six to nine months, I think I can also decide the outcome of the matches more than I could last year. I’m very excited about my chances for Wimbledon now this time.”

Federer, a record six-time champion in Halle and seven-time Wimbledon titlist, owns the highest ATP Win/Loss percentage on grass in the Open Era at .871 and sits atop the all-time titles list on the surface with 13.

For the 32 year old, transitioning to grass is nothing new and he believes it is actually the long clay season that better prepares him for the faster conditions ahead.

“Things are going to change with the grass season,” added Federer. “It's going to be different. I have to shorten the back-swing.

“Usually one plays well on grass because one has to do so much on clay to put pressure on the ball that it's necessary to hit hard. I feel the same for myself. When you move on the quick ground, it's difficult to take the speed from the opponent. On clay it's different, and that's probably the reason I play rather well on grass after the clay season.”

Federer will be joined by fellow Top 10 competitors Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic in Halle, with the pristine lawns of the All England Club beckoning soon after.

Date: 1st June 2014, Source: ATP


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