‘That’s why Roger Federer never played for us before’, says former champion

Last week, Roger Federer announced that he will take part in the ATP Geneva as the only preparation tournament ahead of Roland Garros. Putting an end to speculations relating to his alleged will to skip the second major of the year, the Swiss phenomenon has nevertheless reiterated that his main goals will be Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open. The former world number 1 returned to the field at the beginning of March in Doha, reaching the quarter-finals after a stoppage of almost 14 months. The 39-year-old from Basel’s journey could have been even longer if he alone had converted the match point he had in the third set against Nikoloz Basilashvili. In a recent interview with the Swiss-German newspaper ‘Blick’, his compatriot Marc Rosset welcomed King Roger’s decision to play the home tournament before the French Open. The last appearance of the 20-time Grand Slam champion in Paris dates back to the 2019 edition, when he was defeated in the semifinals by his eternal rival Rafael Nadal.

Rosset on Roger Federer

To a question on whether he was happy to have Roger Federer playing in Geneva, Marc Rosset told Swiss-German publication Blick, “Sure, then I’ll finally see him again. Of course, it’s cool for the tournament.” On whether he talked the champion into enlisting his participation in Geneva, the Olympic gold medalist said he finds no “pleasure” in talking tennis with Federer. “For him, it’s like coming home,” the former champion said. Rosset said that a week’s delay to the start of the French Open may have prompted Federer to play Geneva as he would have an extra week after the event to prepare for Roland-Garros. “That’s why he never played for us before – he doesn’t like playing in a Grand Slam immediately afterwards,” Rosset said. “If you want to win Wimbledon and beat a Djokovic, Nadal or Tsitsipas there, you have to have a maximum of tough matches against top players in your bones. That also applies if your name is Roger Federer,” Rosset said. Many had expected Roger Federer to take part in one of the Masters 1000 events on clay. But with the recent announcement of his schedule, it seems that the Swiss is prioritizing the recovery phase between events. Federer defeated Dan Evans in his opening round match in Doha but fell to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the next, and Becker claimed that the Swiss was “one step slower” at the event.

 

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