Roger Federer is into the third round of the French Open, after his 10th win over Croatian Marin Cilic on Thursday, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.
After his match, the 20-time slam champion was asked about his preparations for Wimbledon in a Tennis Channel interview with Jim Courier and Steve Weissman. Courier wondered if Federer’s outlook about the upcoming grass court season has changed since his positive progress at Roland Garros.
The 39-year-old Federer seemed just as surprised by how smooth his matches have been so far, especially considering his loss to Pablo Andújar in Geneva just a few weeks ago. The Swiss Maestro has grown in confidence while in Paris, aweing the crowds once again with his shot-making skills and fancy footwork.
Despite his winning start at RG—having been out for most of the last year and a half while recovering from two knee surgeries—Federer still considers his chances of winning a second French Open rather low, and doesn’t think he’ll make it past a Djokovic semifinal round, if he gets that far.
“I still do believe there’s no way I’m going to go really, really super deep here, or go past a Novak section, and all that stuff anyhow. I got my work cut out in the next round and so forth,” Federer told Courier.
That being said, the tennis legend is enjoying the momentum for the time being.
“I’m really, really focused on just my next round,” explained Federer. “The mind is getting stronger, I can feel it. You know, I have more clarity, I have more confidence growing in me. I know where to go and not to go, because it’s crazy how quickly you lose all of that.”
You can watch the entire interview here:
“I surprised myself a little bit, I didn’t expect myself to play that well or to have the energy left at the end like this.”@rogerfederer breaks down his win over Cilic, his focus for the rest of the season, and more.@DraftKings | @Steve_Weissman | #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/OoiL9TYs3b
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) June 3, 2021
Although he admitted to viewing the French as more of a preparation for the upcoming grass season, he seemed surprisingly pleased by how confidently he’s progressed so far at the clay slam. But it’s clear that Wimbledon—his most successful slam at eight titles—is still very much his top priority.
Federer also discussed his excitement for the upcoming Laver Cup, which was delayed last year due to the pandemic, but is back on this fall, with advanced ticket packages on sale, and with 100 percent fan capacity.
“I can’t wait to play in Boston,” noted Federer, where the Laver Cup is scheduled in September. This will be the first time that the tennis legend will visit the city, a sports town known for hockey, baseball, and basketball. The Laver Cup is always a sold-out event and one of the biggest draws in tennis, and is sure to make an exciting debut in the city.
Next up for Roger Federer is German Dominik Koepfer who he will face competitively for the first time. The world No. 59 is a lefty, which may offer a bit of a challenge to the Swiss, considering how many times he suffered at the hands of another lefty who’s dominated at the French.
But tennis fans know that grand slam titans like Federer seem to come alive during the majors. Already the GOAT is exhibiting much more strategic form than he did at the Geneva Open. The footwork, bold serve, and command strokes are there.
Fed fans are thrilled that the return to form is back. Depending on how far he progresses at Roland Garros, it’s a sure bet that Roger Federer will be a major contender for Wimbledon. And if Phil Mickelson just showed us at the PGA major: never, ever count out the old guys.