Home Sport Roger Federer feels he is ready to defend his Wimbledon title

Roger Federer feels he is ready to defend his Wimbledon title

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Federer returned from his extended break to claim the Stuttgart Open title

EASY: Roger Federer. Photo: Tim Ireland/AP

Roger Federer feels he is ready to defend his Wimbledon title despite playing nine matches in 12 days in recent tournaments in Stuttgart and Halle in Germany in his build-up to the third Grand Slam of the year.

“I feel good, so it’s all good,” he smiled at a press conference on Sunday ahead of his match that was due to be played late yesterday.

“Honestly, I’m feeling good. I was tired at the beginning of the week because of all the action over the last couple of weeks.

“I think the three months did me again a world of good, that I didn’t play during the clay court season. We had a great time, vacation, family time, practice, fitness, tennis. Everything worked very well.

“I’m confident, I guess, to some extent because I played all the grass court matches I was hoping to play.”

Federer returned from his extended break to claim the Stuttgart Open title and stretched his winning streak on grass to 20 matches, before Borna Coric sprung the upset in the Halle final.

He began his campaign as the top seed for the first time since 2010 and as defending champion will open play on Centre Court on Monday with Serb Dusan Lajovic his opponent.

“It feels like walking out for a final, it really does,” Federer said. “It’s maybe more nerve-racking because you’re not acclimatised to the court yet. I think that might help me, the big-time match play that I’ve had over the course of my career.”

A shrewd historian of the sport, Federer can reel off memories from all of his eight Wimbledon triumphs at will.

Defeats at the All England Club, too, leave an indelible imprint.

Adept at putting those more painful memories behind him, the Swiss is not caught on the back foot a second time as talk of his Wimbledon 2008 final defeat to Rafael Nadal is naturally raised, given the 10-year anniversary.

“I think it was one of the hardest losses I ever had, no doubt about it,” Federer said.

“I was so close to making it six-in-a-row. The initial reaction was, OK, got to win it again next year, ‘09, and I did, in an epic one against Andy Roddick. That was beautiful after the heartbreak in ‘08.

“It was a great match for many reasons. It also made me more human potentially, the loss under the circumstances. But it was a great match to be part of.

“We go back in time with Rafa. I’m sure that we’ll talk about it when we’re older in the rocking chair.”- African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman