Roger Federer makes his return to the French Open on Sunday afternoon, taking part in the event for the first time since 2015. It will be interesting to see how the 2009 champion goes this fortnight after playing back to back tournaments in Madrid and Rome. His opponent here will be Lorenzo Sonego, who is playing his first main draw match at Roland Garros.
Federer made the quarter finals in both those events, losing to Dominic Thiem in Madrid and withdrawing from a hectic Rome. He will have been disappointed to have lost to the Austrian from match point up but taking one of the best on clay that far in his return tournament suggests there is lot to be hopeful about, even if Federer isn’t too confident of his chances himself. “I’m not sure if it’s in my racquet,” he said on his chances of winning the title. “But I hope I can get myself in that position deep down in the tournament against the top guys.”
Sonego announced himself to a few more fans with a quarter final run at the Monte Carlo Masters with a win over Karen Khachanov the pick of the Italian’s performances en-route. His favoured surface is clay and that shows in his results over the past 12 months. He also counts at Geneva Challenger title and a Marrakech quarter final amongst his stronger showings this year.
“I think I have been able to train hard enough and also got the necessary tough matches in Madrid and Rome… I really feel like playing under the pressure and playing with the nerves was important for me so I feel totally ready,” Federer added. He shouldn’t be at danger of an early exit with many already eyeing the quarter final between him and Stefanos Tsitsipas if seedings hold. They were due to play in Rome before Federer’s aforementioned withdrawal.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets