Roger Federer: It’s Very Clear, Rafa Is The Favorite To Win The French Open, Then Novak!
by Tom Gainey | May 25th, 2014, 5:41 pm

Following a quick win over Lukas Lacko today in the opening round of the French Open, Roger Federer gave his thoughts on who should be the tournament favorite, Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal. Many in tennis are now picking Djokovic as the favorite. The Swiss, however, strongly disagrees.

“Not for me [Djokovic is the favorite], but maybe for you,” Federer told the press. “Three weeks ago [Novak] couldn’t play tennis anymore, I remember that too. When he was injured, ‘oh, my God,’ you know. Things are looking so terrible. Now everything is great.

“It doesn’t go week by week,” he said. “I don’t know who’s talking all the time, but Rafa is the favorite, and then Novak, and then the rest, It’s very clear. But it doesn’t matter who is the favorite or not. We will see in a few weeks. Really doesn’t matter one bit.”

Federer needs a second French Open to complete a second Career Grand Slam. He’ll have two days off before resuming on Wednesday.

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41 Comments for Roger Federer: It’s Very Clear, Rafa Is The Favorite To Win The French Open, Then Novak!

Giles Says:

Hope joker reads Fed’s presser.

Golden Child Says:

Once again, the man comes across as an arrogant prick with his comments. Hope he loses early in the rounds.

mat4 Says:


please, since I presume that you too have read this interview in French (I just couldn’t see when he said that), help me: I am certain that Roger commented mostly the sensationalism of the journalists, nothing else.

mat4 Says:

Here is the full quote:

“Q. Qu’en est-il de NOVAK ? Selon vous depuis 6 semaines que diriez vous de Novak, est-il le favori ? Et c’est normal ?”

R. Pas pour moi en tout cas, pour vous peut-être. Il y a 3 semaines de cela, il avait dû mal lorsqu’il était blessé, il ne pouvait plus jouer du tout. Mon dieu, c’est terrible, et là maintenant il joue très très bien. Ce n’est pas semaine après semaine. Je ne sais pas qui dit cela, mais Rafa favori, puis Novak, puis les autres… Peu importe d’ailleurs qui est le favori ou pas, on verra qui va gagner dans quelques semaines. Cela n’a aucune importance.”

First, the person that transcribe this interview still has to go to school; it should be “Est-ce normal?”, “du”. The punctuation could also be a problem.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

I don’t know what Roger said but I know what Novak’s doctor professor Adolfo Panfili said:

Seth Says:

Roger isn’t digging at Novak here. Rather, he’s parodying the media-generated narrative of Novak-as-sudden-favorite at the French.

mat4 Says:


Great link! Thank you!

skeezer Says:

Preach it Fed! Says:

Great comment. Agree 100%.
Matt, not necessarily an error. could be meant as “And that’s normal?” Makes sense either way.

Humble Rafa Says:

It’s about time the Arrogant One started towing the Rafa Nation official line.


Bad Knee Rules Says:

@mat4, my pleasure.

andrea Says:

can’t believe roger’s wife was already in the stands watching him play again. she deserves a medal. twins? what twins?

contador Says:

Finally at home relaxing and watching Federer. My god, he is still such an elegant but powerful force. I absolutely love watching him. Don’t expect him to win or even want him to win but very thankful he continues to bring grace to a tennis court. :D

Dan Martin Says:

I have my men’s and women’s picks up at

metan Says:

Thanks papa Fed for your nice words and your backing, but most of all your helping hands on the court. I am waiting for you to do that.Hehehehe.

harry Says:

@BKR: Aw, the video is great, thanks ;) Jane, Wog Boy, you guys are missing something…

@mat4: Sorry, I had gone out for a few drinks with a bunch of friends & i couldn’t reply more quickly (it is a long weekend here in the US). But yes… those journalists ;) it appears that Roger is just reacting to the media. But I agree with with le Fed — Rafa is the favorite, given his history @ RG & @ clay. Plus we don’t know how well Nole’s wrist is going to hold up against the big hitters in his draw (I don’t know if any of them may trigger his wrist problems again). But there are lot of caveats: I have noticed that Fed is more open in his French interviews than he is in English interviews, which is understandable (perhaps he is even more open in Swiss German, but I don’t know). Also, my French (and German) are not sophisticated — i can understand Fed & Genie Bouchard fully (it is not their mother tongue too!), but the Stanimal is, for example, a bit difficult…

Michael Says:

Roger is very candid and outspoken to mention that he is not the favourite. These days, Roger is playing the sport just with sheer joy and passion and not with high ambitions. He just wants to enjoy whatever the game offers and he is playing more for the crowd and his devout fans. He pretty well knows that he is past his best and his good days are behind him. But still, he never wants to give it up and it is creditable for him to still amongst the top four which is a tribute for his greatness. That said, Roger’s chances (if there are any) will only be at Wimbledon, draw permitting.

roy Says:

federer actually likes nadal more than djokovic. i can guarantee when they’re all retired, it will be federer and nadal sharing boxes at wimbledon etc., not fed and djoker.

that’s because nadal has always been submissive to federer and it fuels federer’s ego.
federer hated nadal early on because nadal kept beating him and being so gentlemanly about it too.
it drove federer crazy. funny times.
but fed seemed to basically accept things over time and now as long as nadal has less slams than him he probably has no ill feelings towards rafa.

djoker locked horns with federer early on and djoker is far more of an ego-maniac than nadal. the the mix is more abrasive between fed and djoker as a result.
it’s two ego-maniacs squaring off.

so it’s quite interesting that fed fans support djoker and hate nadal.
but we know why, of course.
if djoker had 16 slams right now, they’d be die-hard nadal fans and praying for nadal to win RG.

skeezer Says:

Apprently she roy has been hanging out with Fed, Nadal and Djoker. Didn’t know she knew them so intimately.
Do they shave during the evening or in the morning?

mat4 Says:


Sorry, thought you were French.

On the other side, I was born 30 km from Lausanne, so I understand “Stanimal” very well.


Of course, they shave in the morning. And they definitely don’t care for each other… a lot.

Purcell Says:

Of all the nonsense you have spouted Roy this ego fuelled rant tops the lot. (Please note the word ‘ego’). You have managed to insult three great players and their fans by claiming insight into their personas and their relationships.
Enjoy the FO.

Klaas Says:

Thanks to Bad Knee Rules for the Gazzetta link. Looks like this italian professor found the cause for the wrist problem and rectified it. So you can be reasonably certain that his wrist will stay healthy.

Hippy Chic Says:

Golden Child @May 25th 6.02pm,such choice language….

Giles Says:

Alison. Makes you wonder about Tennis X moderators . They can’t get it right ! That post should never have been published.
C’mon moderators, get your act together. It is very obvious you don’t have a clue as to which posters to moderate or which posts should be deleted.

Hippy Chic Says:

Giles exactly….

tweener Says:

omg! nishi on the verge of getting ousted in the opener. :(

Susan Says:

To roy: It might be that some Federer’s fanbase do like Djokovic because of his play style that is more similar to Federer’s style than Nadal’s style is to Federer’s? Djokovic can grind and play good defensive style like Nadal but he also hit alot of winners and play aggressive. In the ego question we do not know them in person.

autoFilter Says:

Hmm, I wonder if there is an actual market for Federer/Nadal/Djokovic fanfiction…

Hippy Chic Says:

Some Federer fans have Andy as their second favorite,and dont care for Rafa or Novak as players,some fans only like Federer and thats it,some like only Nadal and thats it etc etc,some dont have favorites and just love to watch anyone and everyone for the pure love of the game,i mean for goodness sake whats the big deal anyway??

Hippy Chic Says:

^And theres M whos a fan of both Federer and Nadal,and likes their very different contrasting styles of tennis,all a matter of preferance,but i still dont see why people seem to make an issue out of whos a fan of whom^….

Susan Says:

To Hippy Chick, you are replying to roy? He is poster who brings up who likes which more.

Hippy Chic Says:

^It was a generalisation^.

mat4 Says:


My case is clear though: among Roger, Rafa, and Novak, my fav has always been Maria.

Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 lol and what man doesnt except for our Colin maybe,no offence but id be surprised if she won this??

Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 my favorites are Rafa and Andy,i admire and respect the achievements of Roger and Novak,and i admire Fabio Fognini for very different,and very shallow reasons lol….

Tennis lover Says:

Some of us seem distracted or insanely hurt by Roger’s analysis. It’s simple..if there’s anyone an outright favourite in RG it’s to be Rafa…Novak can change the dynamic this year if he manages to beat Rafa as Rafa did by beating Roger in W- 2008. While, I still believe it’s almost impossible to imagine Rafa loosing in the Final of RG..Rafa will be vulnerable in early rounds..He may fall early or will catch the glory.. However, If Novak manages to beat Rafa in the final that’ll make Novak the second best clay courter of his generation..but, I warn u not to expect that in final Rafa will crumble in fact with some tweaking and tinkering Rafa can solve the problems by killing or neutralising Novak’s backhand or forcing Novak into hurried play and implanting doubt to push him off the rhythm..But, Novak can’t miss the chance this time or it’ll get thornier for him..He may have to retire without a French open. A player who’s beaten Rafa so many times in authoritative fashion doesn’t deserve such a fate. While, for Roger it depends on with many “Ifs”.

Hippy Chic Says:

Stans stuggling and on the cusp of going two sets to one down hmm….

mat4 Says:


Shallow reasons are often the best reasons… At least, they are honest, earnest, and “true”, to quote your fav.

Hippy Chic Says:

Mat4 lol truejust to say though Hugh Jackman is drop dead gorgeous as well as been an amazing actor,so im not always that shallow i suppose ha ha….

Roger Federer: See, I Told You Rafa Was The Favorite To Win The French Open! Says:

[…] he was happy that friend and rival Rafael Nadal took home another French Open title. The Swiss also reminded reporters that he always thought Rafa was the favorite to win despite his less than Rafa-like results this […]

WTF Says:

What roy said was spot on. Nadal always respected Federer and knew his place. Djokovic was more confrontational and did not respect Fed’s stature. He openly challenged Fed before matches. Fed demanded submission to his supremacy, Rafa gave it willingly (but not on court), Nole did not. So Fed has always liked Rafa more, just not on court.

I don’t think he’s ever liked Djoker.

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