Fed­erer sets sights on French Open

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Roger Fed­erer, com­ing off vic­to­ries at the Aus­tralian Open and ATP events in Mi­ami and In­dian Wells, said on Sun­day he plans to play in next month’s French Open.

Af­ter de­feat­ing John Is­ner 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) in an ex­hi­bi­tion at Seattle, Wash­ing­ton, to ben­e­fit his char­ity foun­da­tion, Fed­erer told the Ten­nis Chan­nel he plans to play at Roland Gar­ros for the first time since 2015.

“I am reg­is­tered and my in­ten­tion is to play Roland Gar­ros,” the 18-time Grand Slam cham­pion said in a post-match in­ter­view.

The 35-year-old Swiss star, ranked fourth in the world, made a quar­ter-fi­nal exit in the 2015 French Open and missed last year’s event while deal­ing with knee and back in­juries.

His lone ti­tle on the red clay in Paris came in 2009 and com­pleted a ca­reer Grand Slam. He owns five US and Aus­tralian Open crowns and seven Wim­ble­don ti­tles.

“I feel very priv­i­leged to be back on a ten­nis court,” Fed­erer told the net­work.

“Last year was ex­tremely dif­fi­cult, hav­ing had surgery and the knee never heal­ing. Then I had back pain too, and it all got too much at Wim­ble­don and I was out for six months.

“But I was able to spend some in­cred­i­ble time with the fam­ily and start pre­par­ing for this sea­son and hop­ing that the work that I put in the off sea­son was go­ing to re­ally pay off.

“I was go­ing to get a sec­ond chance to re­ally play ten­nis again on the pro­fes­sional tour and so when I did come back in Aus­tralia was re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

Fed­erer, whose first three ex­hi­bi­tions for African chil­dren’s char­i­ties were played in Switzer­land, raised al­most US$2 mil­lion (RM9 mil­lion) and also played a dou­bles ex­hi­bi­tion along­side Mi­crosoft founder Bill Gates, beat­ing Is­ner and Pearl Jam lead gui­tarist Mike McCready.

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