Federer shrugs off French rout as Wimbledon set to begin

Updated: June 22, 2008, 9:18 PM ET
Reuters

LONDON -- Five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer said on Sunday he had banished thoughts of his 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 French Open mauling at the hands of Rafael Nadal and planned to dominate the draw at the All England Club as usual.

"It's almost easier to forget a loss like that," the world No. 1 said on the eve of his bid for a modern-era record sixth consecutive singles title.

"The French Open was over in such a hurry ... so it's easy just to look forward and concentrate on grass. I won't be on clay for 10 months so it really hasn't been a problem. I'm happy I haven't been affected by it," he said.

Federer

I just like to be favorite and like to come and try to dominate other players.

-- Roger Federer

"I'm still pretty proud of achieving my third French Open final, but for some I guess that's still not good enough," he added.

The Swiss top seed said he did not read newspapers and so had taken no notice of comments from former players that he was more vulnerable now at Wimbledon, especially as Nadal had also won his first grass-court title at Queen's last week.

"What other people and players say I cannot control. But you'll always hear good and bad things. It's maybe a time where some people talk a little bit too much sometimes," he said.

"I just like to be favorite and like to come and try to dominate other players," the Swiss added.

More players have all-around games these days, with Spaniards such as Nadal and David Ferrer winning on grass, so there is danger throughout the draw, Federer said.

"Guys that are at the top I feel that they can play on all surfaces," he said.

Aside from Nadal and third-seed Novak Djokovic, who won the Australian Open, Federer mentioned American Andy Roddick, runner-up in 2004 and 2005, British 12th-seed Andy Murray, 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt, Argentine David Nalbandian and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis as dangerous opponents over the next fortnight.

Federer suffered glandular fever at the start of the year, which affected his results, but said he was back on form, feeling as fit as last year when he equaled Bjorn Borg's feat of five in a row.

"I'm physically in good shape again, so things are looking good but there's never any guarantee," he said.

If he wins the title, Federer will become only the second player to win six in a row after William Renshaw in the 1880s, when the competition was much smaller.

After winning his first title, Renshaw had only to win one match in the Challenge round to defend the crown.

Federer begins his defense -- the first of seven matches if he goes all the way -- on Centre Court on Monday against Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia.