x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Federer: I am back to my best

The Swiss says he is favourite for Wimbledon and, while the world No 2 admits to problems with game, he says he never doubted 14th slam win would come.

Fresh off his first French Open title, Roger Federer has pitted himself as the man to beat at Wimbledon. His victory over Robin Soderling in the final at Roland Garros meant he has now won every grand slam and equalled Pete Sampras's record of 14 slam titles. He would set a new record if he wins at the All England Club in a tournament that runs from June 22-July 5. He has been Wimbledon champion five times already.

"I do think I'm the favourite, actually, with all the success I've had," Federer, the world No 2 said yesterday. The Swiss player, 27, has a new-found belief in his game as well as a satisfaction in his private life as a result of his recent marriage an imminent arrival of a first child. Taking a month and a half off after his emotional and heartbreaking defeat to Nadal in the final of the Australian Open to fully cure a nagging back problem has really done the trick.

"People talked about me having lost my grip," he said. "To some degree I guess it's true, because I lost my No 1 ranking. But I didn't fall out of the top 10 or the top 1,000. "I still played very consistently, especially at grand slam level. I had issues - we all know what they were - but people sometimes don't give you time to let them heal or figure them out. "I always believed in my chances of winning any grand slam. It's for these reasons that I tried to keep myself fit. That was also the reason why I took six weeks off. Let everything heal and let everything settle, and then come back very strong."

* Agencies