Roger Federer 'playing the best tennis of his life' says Rod Laver while assessing his French Open chances

Pradhan Muthanna
International Business Times
Roger Federer
Roger Federer

Roger Federer could be playing the best tennis of his life at the moment according to tennis legend Rod Laver.

The Swiss ace suffered a knee injury in 2016 and decided to take a six-month break from the game to recover. That was the first time since 2001 that Federer failed to win a title having picked up at least one in every season previously.

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The 35-year-old returned from injury at the start of the year at the Australian Open amid question marks over his future in the sport. He was ranked 17th in the world and talks were about how early Federer will get knocked out due to lack of match practice and fitness.

The former world number one decided to go against the script and make it all the way to the final and win his 18th Grand Slam title, his first since his win at Wimbledon in 2012. Federer did not stop there. He confirmed he is back to his best level by capturing titles at the BNP Paribas Masters and the Miami Masters and is currently on a 19-1 win-loss streak — his best start to a season since 2006.

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"He was playing like this 10 or 15 years ago, but his timing is perfect at this juncture," Tennis World USA, quoted Laver as saying. "He used to miss-hit a lot of balls at varying times, with chances to break serve. In the Miami final, I think he miss hit one ball, a forehand that went out about 5 or 10 feet. It's uncanny."

"I might venture he's playing the best tennis of his life. You'd like to be a fly on the wall as he thinks about all of this."

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Despite his current form, Federer has maintained that he will not play as many tournaments like in the past as staying fit is his main priority rather than chasing the top spot in world rankings. The world number four announced an eight-week break and is set to miss the ongoing clay court swing of the season in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome, while his participation at the French Open is also in doubt.

However, the 11-time Grand Slam winner has backed Federer to return to action at Roland Garros and has even backed him to win it owing to the form he is displaying this season.

"It's pretty amazing, the 'What will I do?' He's playing so well at the moment. My gut feeling is that he will play the French," Laver added.

"The way he's playing, it isn't a far-reaching situation for him to win the French."

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