Roger Federer plays down title chances on Roland Garros return

The 20-time Grand Slam champion won the Roland Garros title in 2009 thereby completing a career slam but has also lost four other finals to rival Rafael Nadal

Federer won his first and only Musketeers' Trophy till date in 2009 in his fourth final   -  Getty Images

Roger Federer on Friday played down his chances of winning the French Open on his first appearance at Roland Garros since 2015, saying that title-winning form might not be “in his racquet”.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion missed the 2016 French Open through injury before sitting out the next two clay-court seasons in order to focus on Wimbledon.

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But he will make his Roland Garros return on Sunday with a first-round tie against unheralded Italian youngster Lorenzo Sonego.

Federer admitted that he is unsure of his title chances, but did compare his current situation with when he ended a five-year Grand Slam drought at the Australian Open in 2017.

“(I) don't know (if I can win the tournament). A bit of a question mark for me. Some ways I feel similar to maybe the Australian Open in '17,” the 2009 French Open winner said.

“A bit of the unknown. I feel like I'm playing good tennis, but is it enough against the absolute top guys when it really comes to the crunch? I'm not sure if it's in my racquet."

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“But I hope I can get myself in that position deep down in the tournament against the top guys. But first I need to get there and I know that's a challenge in itself.”

Despite being the third seed, Federer faces a tricky draw, with a possible quarterfinal against Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat him in the Australian Open last 16 and a potential last-four clash with 11-time champion and old adversary Rafael Nadal.

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