Roger Federer ‘pretty positive about his chances’ as he looks to step up a gear on grass

Roger Federer interview

He hasn’t set the world alight since making his comeback from two knee operations, but Roger Federer is pleased with how he has played and hopes to take his performances up a notch or two on grass.

After spending nearly 17 months on the sidelines, the 20-time Grand Slam winner made his return to competitive action at the Qatar Open in March. He lost in the second round and decided to take time off to focus on his recovery and he next featured in May at the Geneva Open where he lost in the first round.

He then played at Roland Garros and after winning his first three matches – including a three-hour and 35 minute tussle against Dominik Koepfer in the third round – he withdrew from the tournament in order to prepare for the grass-court season.

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The 39-year-old will return to action at the Noventi Open in Halle next week and he feels his recovery is on track.

“I probably would have taken the place I am today. March was still very early days for my comeback but I just felt like it was a good time to come back,” he said. “I thought that Doha actually went extremely well overall because I know my expectations were close to zero over there. So I’m happy I was able to play two competitive matches over there.

“Ever since I’ve only seen improvement, no setbacks. After I guess the two operations I have to be extremely careful with every move I do. But now it’s really go time. This is essentially where the season really hopefully starts for me.”

After a solid practice on the grass in Halle on Thursday, Federer hopes to step it up over the next few days.

“The knee just needs always extra care, and I hope it’s also going to react well to the grass. All my strengths get amplified,” he said.

“I’m going to probably push a little bit more in practice this afternoon or maybe tomorrow, just to get the body ready for the grass courts, and I hope I have no negative reactions.

“I’m pretty positive about my chances… I’m confident that somehow I’ll be fine in the coming days. But of course I want to stay injury-free. That’s the most important (thing) right now.”

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