Fresh off his first French Open title, Roger Federer considers himself the man to beat at Wimbledon.
A day after beating Robin Soderling in the final at Roland Garros, Federer says he’s looking forward to trying to claim a sixth championship at the All England Club from June 22-July 5.
“I do think I’m the favorite, actually, with all the success I’ve had,” Federer said Monday.
His run of five consecutive Wimbledon titles ended with a five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final.
Nadal pulled out of this week’s grass-court tournament at Queen’s Club, citing knee problems.
Referring to Wimbledon, Nadal said: “I hope I can be ready to compete by then.”
Federer expects to see his nemesis at the All England Club.
“It seems like it’s not 100 percent serious, his knee injury. I only wish him the best and I hope it’s not true that he will miss Wimbledon. I think it’s a lot of speculation at the moment,” Federer said. “He wasn’t taping his knees here in Paris. He seemed fine, [from] what I saw, anyway. I’ve played him so many times, I can tell when he’s in pain and when he’s not.”
Federer said his back feels OK — he took a six-week break this year because it was bothering him — but he also said he was considering withdrawing from the grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany, that began Monday.
As for his game, Federer figures he can keep improving, particularly on grass and hard courts, “when I can go for my shots more.”
He already has won five championships at Wimbledon, five at the U.S. Open and three at the Australian Open. Now — after having lost to Nadal in the three previous French Open finals — Federer looks forward to being the defending champion at Roland Garros for the first time.
“I’m sure I’m going to enjoy Paris even more in the future,” he said, “because the pressure is off.”