Federer cautious on return from injury

MONTE CARLO • Roger Federer gave no guarantees about his form as he prepared for his first ATP start in more than two months at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The Swiss will be starting afresh in the second round on the Monte Carlo Country Club clay today after his knee operation in early February.

He has also said that this week will be crucial in deciding his schedule ahead of the French Open.

"I feel more rust than rest, but I am rested, mentally and physically," the 34-year-old said.

"I don't think about the Roland Garros title," the 2009 Paris champion added. "I believe I can do it. Every event at the Grand Slam gives me another opportunity to do that.

"I've been training super hard on clay, I'll be able to decide better about playing any of the Masters 1000 tournaments which come later.

"Everything is flexible, you are automatically entered in Masters 1000 events, there is nothing I can do about that.

"It's bad spin when you pull out and people think you've let the tournament down. But I can always add a Madrid or a Rome event to my calendar."

As he prepares for the second round against Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Federer will be organising his comeback strategy on the fly.

"If I win the tournament, that changes everything," said the four-time finalist.

"I'll know more in two weeks and I can decide the week before Madrid if I will go there or not."

Federer is seeded third behind Andy Murray and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, whose confidence and spirits could not be any higher after winning his fourth title of the season in Miami.

"I've always wanted to be where I am at the moment," said the Serb.

"I'm playing the best tennis of my life."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ATP MONTE CARLO MASTERS

Day 2, StarHub Ch201, 4.30pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'Federer cautious on return from injury'. Print Edition | Subscribe