x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Roger Federer pleased to be back 'home' at Dubai ATP Championship

The four-time champion Roger Federer, fresh from his Rotterdam triumph, is excited about his chances at the Dubai ATP Championships.

DUBAI // The four-time champion Roger Federer, fresh from his Rotterdam triumph, is excited about his chances at the Dubai ATP Championships.

The Swiss has won more titles in Dubai than any other player, but the last of his titles came back in 2007.

America's Andy Roddick was the champion in 2008 and Novak Djokovick has held sway for three years now.

The Serbian, the world No 1 and top seed, defeated Federer in straight sets last year and they are drawn to meet in the final again this time. But the Swiss is not looking beyond a tricky first-round match against Michael Llodra of France.

"I feel good," Federer said. "The last time I did Rotterdam and Dubai back-to-back, it used to be in a row, without the week in between.

"So the week in between is very helpful because I have played a lot of tennis already, the Davis Cup and then Rotterdam, this February.

"I have just been trying to relax. I took yesterday off and I am going to hit some [balls] tonight [Sunday] and then tomorrow [Monday] before my match on Tuesday.

"So I feel good about my game, physically recovered again and really excited about playing in Dubai as you can expect."

Federer, a 16-time grand slam winner, owns an apartment in Dubai and spends a lot of time in the country.

"Yes of course, I have spend a lot of time here over the years now since I have the apartment [here]," said Federer. "I feel very welcome here.

"This [tournament] is a big one for me. I don't have to travel very far and it's nice playing back home a bit."

 

arizvi@thenational.ae