Roger Federer said on Monday that he was eager to get off to a good start at the upcoming Halle Open in Germany after the 18-time Grand Slam champion was stunned 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 by World No 302 Tommy Haas in Stuttgart last week.
“A comeback is never simple, especially on grass where margins are so slim,” Federer was quoted as saying by the ATP World Tour website. “It’s important for me, especially after the Stuttgart week, to come here and make sure I win my first-round match and get going. I want to take the right decisions on the tennis court. I don’t want to question myself too much. I’ll have the right focus and mindset, that point-by-point mentality. That was a little bit off in Stuttgart, understandably so. I have to learn from that week and move forward in a better way.”
However, the 35-year-old Swiss took confidence from his record at the tournament which he has won eight times, more than any other event.
“The history I have here, having come and played well so often, definitely should help me to play good tennis this week,” said Federer. “I love playing here. Yes, I think I can come in here with good confidence.”
The 35-year-old decided to skip the entire clay-court season, including the French Open, after a fantastic beginning to the year where he had a win-loss record of 19-1 and won the Australian Open and the Indian Wells and Miami titles. However, Federer said he did not regret taking the decision.
“Considering how well I felt going into Paris, it was surprisingly easy to take the decision and after making it, I never had any regrets watching it or following the results,” said Federer. “I never thought ‘If only I was part of the tournament.’ I was looking ahead to the grass season and enjoyed the time with my friends and family at home.”
He added, “I felt that the French Open may potentially have a negative effect on what’s to come. It may have been helpful, but I felt there was more risk that it would go the other way. Based on health, that’s why I decided to skip.”
However, he did add that the decision was likely a one-time thing.
“But it’s not a trend that I might follow in the future. I don’t know what the future holds. This was just a one-off decision.”