Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer a genuine contender to claim second Roland Garros title
Novak Djokovic says he sees no reason why Roger Federer can’t win a second title at Roland Garros.
Federer’s one and only title at Roland Garros came in 2009, but he will no doubt be looking to add another one to his collection before he retires and he hopes that chance will come this year.
Following a two-year break from clay, the 20-time Grand Slam will make a return to the red dirt as he will compete at the Madrid Open and French Open.
While many people are writing off his chances of winning another French Open, especially with Rafael Nadal still in the mix, world No 1 Djokovic believes the Swiss is a contender to win a second title.
“I thought tennis was missing him [Federer] definitely on clay last year,” he said. “But I think, personally, people understood why he decided as well to skip the clay-court season last year and I also understand why he wants to play. Definitely for our sport, it’s better that he plays.
“He’s been playing some great tennis. Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, he’s won two out of three, played the final in Indian Wells, [which is] as good as it gets. Of course [clay is] a different surface, but in Indian Wells the ball bounces quite high there, which kind of imitates the clay. He’s dealt with high balls really well throughout his career, so I don’t see any particular big issue playing on this surface… you always expect highs from him.”
The Serb added: “So is Federer a genuine contender to claim a second French Open at the end of this two-month sequence? I think so.
“I mean, he has more chance to win other Slams than Roland Garros, but he has won Roland Garros in the past. He hasn’t played it obviously last year or the last few years, but Roger’s level is always there.
“Aside of maybe one year where he changed his racket and was injured for six months, there is maybe two times in the last 15 years where I saw him play 10 or 20 per cent worse. So it’s always expected from my side, on any surface, that he is going to be at his best and among the favourites.”
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