Federer says he’s recharged after break
Roger Federer is ready to challenge Novak Djokovic for the No. 1
ranking after a monthlong break from tennis.
The third-ranked Federer returns this week at the Madrid Open, a
tournament he won in 2006 and 2009.
”I am excited to be back after a long offseason, but I needed
it after playing so, so much,” Federer said Sunday. ”I have put
myself in a good position if I do win a Grand Slam for the world
”I know how hard it is to win (a major championship). But it is
a dream for me to achieve it this year. I will chase it as hard as
To reclaim the top ranking, Federer will have to overtake
Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal, the top two seeded players in
Madrid. Nadal is playing excellent tennis with back-to-back wins at
Monte Carlo, where he broke a string of defeats to Djokovic, and
most recently at Barcelona.
”Rafa having lost so many times to Novak, it is interesting to
see how (Djokovic) will react now,” Federer said. ”Both are great
The 30-year-old Swiss called Nadal the tournament favorite. He
also withheld judgment on the event’s new blue clay surface that
the Spaniard clay-court specialist has criticized as a departure
from tennis tradition.
”It feels a bit different from regular clay. I don’t know if it
is the visual or just the feel of it. It has been somewhat cold and
rainy, so we’ll have to see how it plays when it is hot,” Federer
said. ”I haven’t had a chance to play on center-court yet, so I’ll
have to wait until a proper match to give you my opinion.”