17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer believes he and Stan Wawrinka will be significant challengers to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic by the time the French Open takes place.
Federer, who had previously finished runner-up on three separate occasions against Nadal in Monte Carlo, lost again to Wawrinka in the final on Sunday afternoon, after winning the opening set. It was his second loss to Wawrinka at Monte Carlo, and led the Swiss No. 1 to his first Masters 1000 title. It was also Wawrinka’s 2nd victory over Federer in 15 attempts.
“I’m very happy for Stan. It’s a huge win for him after winning his first Grand Slam this year, to win his first Masters 1000 [trophy],” said Federer. “ To take the opportunities when they’re there, that’s key in a tennis player’s career.”
While he is disappointed with the loss, Federer is confident looking ahead to the remainder of the clay court season, where he believes he and Wawrinka will be the main challengers to the dominant Top 2 seeds, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
“I think we’re right there… We’ve put ourselves in [winning] positions time and time again,” Federer said. “This was one of those weeks we were able to capitalise on it. Stan did the same at the Australian Open. I did it in Dubai. It’s definitely a good start to the season for all four of us.”
Federer is scheduled to take part in the Mutata Madrid Open next month. The event takes place between 4-11 April in Madrid, Spain.