Roger Federer started life at Roland Garros with a first round win against Denis Istomin. The Swiss maestro won the match in straight sets 6-2,6-4,6-3 and will now face Marin Cilic in the second round of the clay court tournament.
The win came as a relief for the Swiss as his comeback was welcomed with two sour defeats against Nikoloz Basilashvili and Pablo Andujar. Federer believes that the first few losses were expected considering that he was returning from a major injury setback. He also feels that his decision to play in the French Open as a preparatory tournament for the grass court season was correct in contrary to expert opinions.
“Such defeats are unfortunately part of the process,” Federer told Simon Graf after his win over Istomin. “I knew I’d have to take the risk of early defeats if I came back now. Like in Doha, in Geneva, maybe also in Paris. The alternative would have been to wait until I was back at 100 per cent. But I’ve done enough rehab, trained enough, I want to play.”
“I have to stay positive, trust my path,” Federer added. “Even if it may look strange to some people, to journalists or experts. But that doesn’t bother me.”
The 39-year old feels that he doesn’t care if he is playing at a lower level at the moment as long as he can avoid injuries. He admitted that more training sessions will help put him in good stead.
“And as long as I don’t risk getting severely injured and play at an acceptable level, that’s okay with me,” Roger Federer added. “Of course, if I had been able to do several more training blocks, that would have helped. But we don’t have that time at the moment.”
In the interview, Federer was asked to pick out of confidence and experience and the Swiss maestro chose confidence. He opened up on how confidence gives him clarity to assess his game.
“Yeah, I think I prefer confidence over experience,” Roger Federer stated. “Confidence always wins, it’s like you’re playing downhill. It’s like you have the wind behind your back.”
“You feel you’re much more clear in the head, you’ve obviously experienced a lot with that. You’re solid, you know what you are doing. You know what it takes…Confidence wins you a lot of matches, it gives you clarity, you don’t doubt yourselves. You feel like it’s gonna go your way, and most important moments you believe it. You’re not hoping for the other guy to miss you actually believe you’re gonna win.”