Roger Federer looks forward to his comeback after 'boring' last few weeks

13 June, 2018, 21:29 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Roger Federer

The 20-time Grand Slam victor, who exited in his opening match at the grass court season curtain-raiser a year ago to friend Tommy Haas, can displace Rafael Nadal from the world's top ranking spot if he reaches Sunday's final.

His record 11th French Open crown saw him take his grand slam haul to 17 major titles.

Thiem's fighting spirit was evident in abundance - he continued to put pressure on Nadal through his return game, while consistently scrapping to stave off perilous positions on his own serve - but ultimately the Spaniard's quality and, often, his sheer force of will, won the day.

Djokovic left the partnership to join Lacoste a year ago.

Nadal theorized that the tight wrap on his forearm had cut off his circulation, and he said the unexpected sensation scared him.

Thiem did at least remind Nadal of his age, saying; "I can still remember being 11 when (Nadal) won here for the first time and I watched on the TV".

Despite the setback, the 20-time Grand Slam champion recovered his composure to secure a decisive break to force a deciding set, which Federer dominated as he broke Zverev twice to secure victory on his first match point.

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He then crushed a tired looking Zverev 6-4 6-2 6-1 before halting the fairy tale run of Cecchinato 7-6 7-6 6-1. Nadal is only the second man after Roger Federer to reach 11 finals at the same Grand Slam.

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Federer (9 at Halle, 8 at Basel) and Argentine clay-court legend Guillermo Vilas (8, Buenos Aires) are the male players with the next highest number of titles at a tournament below Grand Slam level. Serving at less than 50 percent in the first, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves.

From 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, Thiem faltered.

He saved three break points in his first service game but a wayward backhand ensured Nadal took the fourth.

We saw four straight holds at love before Roger stepped in on the return in game six, creating three break points and converting the last one with a return victor to move 4-2 ahead.

"I'm fresh, I'm healthy", Federer said. "It was just awful misses".

Thiem was hampered by his many unforced errors after long rallies. Thiem also made 37 forced errors to Nadal's 21.

The number of Masters 1000 titles won by Nadal, the most by a single player since the series began in 1990. "Of course, it's going to be easier then, a little bit, because it's not going to be the first time anymore". "But on the other hand, I was pretty calm and I knew that I go into it like it would be any other match", said Thiem.

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