The wait will be over tomorrow for Roger Federer fans in Paris. Four years after his last match at Roland Garros, Federer returns Sunday to the crushed red brick to face Italian 24-year-old Lorenzo Sonego.
Fed, who’s talked at length about his clay comeback during the Masters events, addressed it further yesterday during his pre-tournament press conference.
“A lot of things have changed,” said Federer. “Centre court looks very different. There has been a lot of upgrades and investments made. It’s definitely growing and it’s nice to see. I feel still it is the old Roland Garros, it’s kept its flair and everything.
“Personally, for me, I’m again very happy to be back,” he added. “Because I have missed the last three editions, and when you miss something in life, you’re happy to be back there again for me, and this is the case this year. I’m really happy to be back in Paris.”
Federer who withdrew from Rome due to a knee, is happy where he is health-wise.
“I have been able to train hard enough, and I’ve also had the necessary tough matches in Madrid and Rome,” Federer said. “I really feel like playing under pressure and playing with nerves was important for me, so I feel totally ready.”
But despite being “totally ready”, Federer admits that he’s not totally ready to win the title.
“I don’t know. A bit of a question mark for me,” he said of his title chances. “Some ways I feel similar to maybe the Australian Open in 2017. A bit of the unknown.
“I feel like I’m playing good tennis but is it enough against the absolute top guys when it really comes to the crunch? I’m not sure if it’s in my racket.”
Federer, who won the French Open 10 years ago, plays his first best-of-5 match on clay tomorrow.
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