Federer undaunted after another Paris loss

11th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 11, 2007 (AFP) - Roger Federer insists he can still one day win the French Open to complete his career Grand Slam despite losing in the final for the second straight year to claycourt nemesis Rafael Nadal.

PARIS, June 11, 2007 (AFP) - Roger Federer insists he can still one day win the French Open to complete his career Grand Slam despite losing in the final for the second straight year to claycourt nemesis Rafael Nadal.

It was another bitter pill to swallow for the world No.1 following two months of hard labour on his least-favourite surface honing his game to win the one major title to elude him to date.

It was the eighth time he has played the tournament and the eighth time he has come up short.

His first ever claycourt win over the Spaniard in the final of the Hamburg Masters last month had boosted his hopes, but once again he fell in four sets to Nadal who at 21 won the title for the third year in a row.

The 25-year-old Federer, who has won Wimbledon four times with three wins in each of the US and Australian Opens said he remained upbeat about his chances of one day winning in Paris.

"If I had won I would not have had many other goals to chase in my career," he said.

"Like this it always stays open and eventually, if I get it, the sweeter it is going to taste.

"So hopefully, I'll give myself more and more opportunities over and over again. I know I can do it now, that's for sure. After playing three very good French Opens, Rafa came along and took them all, so it's kind of Rafa and me."

Federer paid tribute to the Spaniard saying he fully deserved his victory and that physically he had proved to be the stronger of the two on the day.

"He moves extremely well on clay. He runs from one end of the court to the other," he said.

"He has fantastic strokes on this surface and he is very strong, mentally speaking at his age. That's probably what is most impressive at such a young age."

The Swiss star said that he would quickly get over his disappointment and would open his preparations for Wimbledon in his usual manner by playing next week in the grasscourt tournament in the German town of Halle.

Federer will be gunning for a fifth straight Wimbledon title, a feat last achieved by Bjorn Borg in 1980 and he feels that Nadal could be a danger in London.

The Spaniard made an unconvincing start to his Wimbledon career in 2003, but last year he pulled off a major suprise by reaching the final where he lost in four sets to Federer.

"When you win one Grand Slam tournament, you can win others," Federer said of Nadal's chances this year.

"It's just like me, when I won my first Wimbledon, I thought - well I know how to win a Grand Slam tournament so I can win at the US Open, the Australian Open and Roland Garros. It gives you motivation and confidence.

"And given his final in Wimbledon last year, he knows that on all other surfaces he can win the title."


Copyright AFP

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