GERMANY: Roger Federer says staying wide awake will be the key to his grass court season with his focus on claiming a record tenth Halle title this week.
The 37-year-old Swiss was given the run around by Rafael Nadal last time out on the Roland Garros clay, but says he’ll be back in his element on his prefered lawns at the freshly renamed Noventi Open.
“It was good to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam tournament again, and in my first appearance in Paris for four years,” said Federer, who last won the title in Paris in 2009.
“I feel fresh, rested and ready for the grass season now,” said Federer, who will target a ninth Wimbledon win in July.
“The surface suits me: I like the intuitive, aggressive game,” Federer told a press conference ahead of Halle.
“The matches on grass are often decided in a few rallies. You have to stay awake and concentrated.”
Federer added: “Winning the tournament always has to be my goal in Halle.
“I love to play at this venue, so I am going into the tournament with a very good feeling,” said Federer, who first appeared in Halle in 2000 and has gone on to play the tournament 15 times.
“It would be just amazing to win for a 10th time,” said Federer, who was beaten by Croatia’s Borna Coric in the final last year.
Federer also revealed he would have a bird’s eye view of the action while resting up at his hotel, where his room overlooks Court 1.
“When friends come here they can’t believe you can watch tennis from the hotel. It is totally cool to watch your rivals and friends playing from your balcony.”
Federer gets his campaign underway against a tricky opponent in John Millman, who beat him at Flushing Meadows last season.
“John is always a tough opponent who doesn’t give anything away. He always gives 100% on court and it will be a real test, but that is perhaps exactly what I need.”