Roger Federer remains convinced that he can rise to the occasion in time to enter his French Open title defence on top form.
The defending champion at the Madrid Masters said that despite a semifinal surprise loss at the weekend in Estoril, he’s ready for another trophy run in the Spanish capital, where he starts later in the week after a bye.
“I’m doing well in training, I’m only lacking a bit of match time,” said the defending champion at the Caja Magica who credited his Spanish title victory over Rafael Nadal in 2009 with sparking his run to the Roland Garros trophy three weeks later.
“I’m hitting the ball cleanly, but maybe not as clean as I did to win in Australia though. But it’s not far away. I’m doing the right things and I’m not worried.
“I really hope to do well here,” said the Swiss.
Federer, whose clay preparation stared poorly in Rome with an opening loss to Ernests Gulbis, went out in the Estoril semis at the weekend to Spanish journeyman Alberto Montanes.
“It would be great to win here again if I could. I can get confidence on the practice courts. We don’t have a lot of time to work on our games, to get pure weeks of practice.
“For me, the Madrid title in 2009 was the key to Paris. Winning the event by beating fellow rivals was very important. But no matter what happens here, I’ll be prepared for Paris.
“But if I had the choice I’d prefer to do well here again.”