Sunday, June 22, 2008
Federer shrugs off French rout as Wimbledon set to begin
LONDON -- Five-time Wimbledon champion
Roger Federer said on Sunday he had banished thoughts of his 6-1,
6-3, 6-0 French Open mauling at the hands of Rafael Nadal and
planned to dominate the draw at the All England Club as usual.
"It's almost easier to forget a loss like that," the world No. 1 said on the eve of his bid for a modern-era record
sixth consecutive singles title.
"The French Open was over in such a hurry ... so it's easy
just to look forward and concentrate on grass. I won't be on
clay for 10 months so it really hasn't been a problem. I'm happy
I haven't been affected by it," he said.
"I'm still pretty proud of achieving my third French Open
final, but for some I guess that's still not good enough," he
The Swiss top seed said he did not read newspapers and so
had taken no notice of comments from former players that he was
more vulnerable now at Wimbledon, especially as Nadal had also
won his first grass-court title at Queen's last week.
"What other people and players say I cannot control. But
you'll always hear good and bad things. It's maybe a time where
some people talk a little bit too much sometimes," he said.
"I just like to be favorite and like to come and try to
dominate other players," the Swiss added.
More players have all-around games these days, with Spaniards
such as Nadal and David Ferrer winning on grass, so there is
danger throughout the draw, Federer said.
"Guys that are at the top I feel that they can play on all
surfaces," he said.
Aside from Nadal and third-seed Novak Djokovic, who won the
Australian Open, Federer mentioned American Andy Roddick,
runner-up in 2004 and 2005, British 12th-seed Andy Murray, 2002
champion Lleyton Hewitt, Argentine David Nalbandian and Cypriot
Marcos Baghdatis as dangerous opponents over the next
Federer suffered glandular fever at the start of the year,
which affected his results, but said he was back on form,
feeling as fit as last year when he equaled Bjorn Borg's feat
of five in a row.
"I'm physically in good shape again, so things are looking
good but there's never any guarantee," he said.
If he wins the title, Federer will become only the second
player to win six in a row after William Renshaw in the 1880s,
when the competition was much smaller.
After winning his first title, Renshaw had only to win one
match in the Challenge round to defend the crown.
Federer begins his defense -- the first of seven matches if
he goes all the way -- on Centre Court on Monday against Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia.
I just like to be favorite and like to come and try to dominate other players.
-- Roger Federer