Following a four-set battle against Croatian Marin Cilic, the No.8 seed Swiss faced World No.59 Dominik Koepfer for the first time and a fourth-round spot in Roland Garros, with no fans, curfew in Paris.
“I Need Matches Like These”, says Roger Federer After Back-To-Back Four Sets Wins
Since the beginning of the Round 32 match, the 20-time Grand Slam champion pushed himself under the lights of Philippe Chatrier court. Eventually, Federer seized his place in Round 16 after playing three gruelling tie-breakers sets 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 7-5.
“It’s fun in some ways not knowing, like in ’17 when I came back or when nobody really knows, even (I don’t) know what is possible,” Federer said in the post-match interview.
“That’s got a fun angle, but I would prefer it differently. I’d prefer to be in Rafa’s or Novak’s shoes right now where they’re like, ‘I’m feeling good. If I’m playing well, I’m winning,” the 39-year-old from Basel added.
“I Didn’t Expect To Be Able To Win Three Matches Here”- Federer
Roger Federer did not appear on the ATP Tour for nearly 13 months owing to two consecutive knee surgeries. However, he returned to the circuit on 10th March this year in Doha. Since then, the former World No.1 has played merely six matches and a win-loss record of 4-2 so far.
Swiss Maestro also emphasised that he needs to play more matches like against Marin Cilic and Dominik Koepfer because he feels that these fights would undoubtedly help him reach a significant level in his comeback.
Federer continued, “I don’t have that feeling right now, so for me, these are all stepping stones to something that is really important to me. It’s the season, and it’s the comeback. I need matches like these.”
“I thought it was very important for me. I clearly hadn’t practised three hours and 35-minutes because that’s obviously always pushing it. So, I pushed as much as I could, as we thought (was) reasonable,” the 2009 Roland Garros title winner explained.
Roger Federer also confessed, “This today was, I think, a huge step forward for the team and all of us. I didn’t expect to be able to win three matches here and sort of back up a good performance (against) Cilic as well in completely different circumstances tonight. So I’m very happy.”
In the subsequent encounter, No.8 seed Roger Federer will lock horns with No.9 seed Matteo Berrettini for a quarter-final spot.