World No 1 Andy Murray believes Roger Federer can go on to win the Roland Garros if he continues his 2017 form in the second Grand Slam event of this year.
The Swiss tennis star called time on his 2016 season after suffering a knee injury following the semi-final loss to Milos Raonic at the Wimbledon. The 35-year-old has been in fine form since returning from injury and won the 2017 Australian Open, where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the final.
It was Federer's first Grand Slam title since winning the Wimbledon in 2012. He also went on to win the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open that saw his ranking improved to world No 4. After the success in Miami, he decided to skip the clay-court season that takes place before the Roland Garros.
Murray played against Federer in the Match for Africa 3 exhibition match on 10 April. He explains why Federer can go on to win the Roland Garros, despite his decision to not take part in the clay-court season.
"If he plays like he did in the beginning of the season, he can definitely win. It won't be easy for him to play a Grand Slam event without playing any match on that surface, but he already showed in Australia that he feels comfortable also without playing too many matches. We will see," Murray explained, as quoted by tennisworldusa.org.
Meanwhile, Federer's backhand has been his strength and he has been playing that shot with more confidence in 2017. The Australian Open winner revealed he was struggling even to hit "slice backhand" and gave an insight on how he was successful in overcoming it.
"There was a progressive Evolution, it didn't happen through one practice session or because we took a strong decision," Federer said.
"I realized I could have improved some things with the new racket already in 2014. Before Seve (Luthi) then Ivan (Ljubicic) insisted on a simple concept: 'Take the ball early especially on return. No one is stronger than you inside the baseline'. And I replied: 'Okay guys, it will be complicated.'
"They forced me to have that mentality. Through these conversations and suiting to the new racket, I started to feel really well on the backhand side at the end of last year. Just to make you realize, I was struggling even to hit slice backhand."
You may be interested in: