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I can win the French Open, says defiant Federer
June 11, 2007 12:52 IST
"I'll give myself more and more opportunities, over and over again", the world number one said after the Spaniard beat him 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Sunday's title match.
"I know I can do it, that's for sure. If anybody can beat Rafa, then it's me," he added after his latest failed attempt to win the only Grand Slam title to elude him.
Winning on Sunday would have made the four-times Wimbledon champion the third player in history to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time after Don Budge and Rod Laver.
It was not to be, which at least leaves him with something still to fight for.
"If I had won today, I would not have had many other goals to chase in my career", said the Swiss. "This one stays open and eventually, if I get it, it's going to taste even sweeter."
Until that happens, the greatest player in the world on any other surface has to be content with being number two on clay.
"Rafa's the toughest guy on clay", said Federer, who missed many opportunities and suffered physically against the energetic Spaniard.
"I knew that I would have to take my chances", he added. "I created some but I failed to convert them.
"He served better, made fewer unforced errors and I couldn't really play the way I wanted from the baseline. It was tough but I think he played an excellent match and deserved to win."
Federer did not seem devastated after failing once more to beat the gritty Spaniard on clay. On the contrary, the Swiss looked his usual, relaxed self.
"That's not going to kill me, you know", he said. "I'm okay."
Before returning to the French capital next year to face the likely prospect of another final against the ultimate winning machine on the slow red surface, Federer has more immediate goals to look forward to, starting with Wimbledon.
"I'm excited about the grasscourt season and, you know, Wimbledon," he said. "Winning my fifth in a row, that would be absolutely incredible. I hope I can give myself a great chance."
The French Open 2007 coverage