Paris [France], June 6 (ANI): Swiss tennis star, Roger Federer, who survived a stern test from Dominik Koepfer to reach the Roland-Garros fourth round feels that he needs the certainty of his old self -- or that of his career rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The current world number 8 won a gruelling 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 7-5 battle against the German at 12:43 am on Sunday morning in an empty main Court Philippe-Chatrier.
"It's fun in some ways not knowing, like in '17 when I came back or when nobody really knows, even [I don't] know what is possible," Federer said in a press conference. "That's got a fun angle, but I would prefer it differently. I'd prefer to be in Rafa's or Novak's shoes right now where they're like, 'I'm feeling good. If I'm playing well, I'm winning.'
The 20 times Grand Slam champion did back his fighting spirit and expressed his love for what he does.
"My fighting spirit got me over the line," said the 2009 Roland Garros, who missed most of last year after undergoing two knee surgeries. "You've got to love what you do, and I do."
Federer said after his four-set victory in the second round against Marin Cilic that he surprised himself. The 39-year-old found a way through another tough match against Koepfer, rallying from a break down in the third set to avoid going down two sets to one.
"I thought it was very important for me. I clearly hadn't practised three hours [and] 35 [minutes], because that's obviously always pushing it. I pushed as much as I could, as we thought [was] reasonable," Federer said. "This today was I think a huge step forward for the team, and for all of us. I didn't expect to be able to win three matches here, and sort of back up a good performance [against] Cilic as well in completely different circumstances tonight. So I'm very happy."
The 103-time tour-level titlist has accomplished virtually anything you could think of in tennis. But even now, 23 years after turning professional, Federer is still learning from new experiences.
"For me to go out tonight, sure, it wasn't easy. It was a lot of [firsts] for me: Playing against Koepfer [in my] first night session here in Paris, the first time [with] no fans in a long, long time, or ever in my career. That was definitely very unique in many ways, and I'm happy I found a way," Federer said. "Also especially emotionally, how do you handle losing that second set? How do you handle to keep pushing yourself on and try to feed off the energy of the team and thinking of all the people watching on TV?
"I was really picturing a lot of people on a Saturday night maybe checking in on the game and watching some tennis. So in many ways, I was also playing for them and trying to let that inspire me." (ANI)