Federer launches bid for 18th Grand Slam

AFP - [email protected] • 23 May, 2014 Updated Fri 23 May 2014 16:18 CEST
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Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer begins his quest for a record extending 18th Grand Slam at the French Open this weekend with a first round tie against Slovenian world number 89 Lukas Lacko.

The former world number one has only recently returned to the court since his wife Mirka gave birth to their second set of twins, this time boys.
However the unflappable 33-year-old Basel native says it's business as usual as he bids for a second title in Paris after his lone victory in 2009.
"I believe I might have played him (Lacko) in Australia. I'm not sure, but I know him," Federer, who is one of seven men to win all four Grand Slams, said about his opening foe.
"He's been on the tour for a while now. He's not totally unknown for me. I know he likes having a good rhythm, he hits early.
"I practiced with him several times, so I do know him. I don't think there is any secret there and I think it's good for a first round to play against a player you know a little bit."
Federer, who also has four-year-old twin daughters, says he is in good nick coming to Paris and the recent additions to the family haven't affected his routine.
"They sleep that much that I don't feel bad yet going out of the room and coming back, it's almost the same situation," he added about extending his family to four children.
"Clearly there is a bit more happening and there is a bit more you can do if you want to, but Mirka takes care of most of it.
"Of course, you know, I hold them as much as I can, but I clearly also want to go out and about with the girls. Routines are pretty much the same, really.
When asked if he lacked preparation on clay ahead of his first round match that could see him play Thomas Berdych in the quarter-finals and Novak Djokovic in the last four, he was serene.

"I'm not sure if I have played less than in previous years on clay, because sometimes I didn't play in Monaco," he added about his recent run to the Monte Carlo final where he lost to compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in three sets.

"Then I also had a couple of events. I think it's about what I usually always have before the French Open.
"It's been really solid in practice; no setbacks in matches. I'm very confident if I need to go, you know, deep in a match or play tough matches in a row.
"The only difference is that, you know, I didn't play a lot in the last couple of weeks . .  . 

"Playing well in Monaco was helpful in the sense that when I went to training I knew what I needed to work on. It clearly was very exciting times.
"For me, I feel like I'm in good shape," Federer added.

"I know where my game is at."



AFP 2014/05/23 16:18

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