Mats Wilander surprised at Roger Federer’s level of play in Paris

Former three-time French Open winner Mats Wilander surprised at how well Roger Federer played against Marin Cilic in the second round of the 2021 French Open.

Roger Federer and Mats Wilander
Roger Federer and Mats Wilander

Switzerland’s Roger Federer has made his way to the third round at the ongoing French Open by beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic in four entertaining sets yesterday.

The maestro beat the 2014 US Open champion by hitting 47 winners for the match, which also included 16 aces. While the 20-time Grand Slam champion did drop his guard in the second set, due to time-violation controversy, he quickly got back into his groove to get the desired result. Although Federer managed to only convert 31% of his break point opportunities, he will be pleased with the fact that he could win 75% of his first serve points.

“The mind is getting stronger. I can feel it. I have more clarity. I have more confidence. I know where to go and where not to go. It’s crazy how quickly you lose that,” the 39-year-old explained at his post-match interview.

Roger Federer French Open 2021
Roger Federer

Federer is a former winner at Roland Garros, where he beat Robin Soderling in the finals of 2009 to complete his career Slam. However, the Swiss maestro missed the 2020 edition, and has been very honest about his chances going ahead at this year’s event.

Federer will now take on Dominik Koepfer in the third round on Saturday and if he can continue his run in Paris, he could end up facing the World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Koepfer and Federer have never met on the ATP tour before.

Federer surprises Wilander

Best server in Tennis, 10 Greatest Servers of All time
Roger Federer

Meanwhile, three-time French Open winner Mats Wilander too expressed his surprise in how Federer has performed so far in this year’s French Open. “Roger was so sharp and loose! Ok he is Roger Federer but I was surprised. It was the real test for him in 19 months, unbelievable,” the 60-year-old expert reckoned.

Given that Federer has played both day games on the Philippe Chartrier, he could be asked to play the night session, or could also find himself playing at Suzanne Lenglen. It also remains to be seen how Federer recovers from playing two matches, something that he hasn’t done for a while now at the Grand Slam level.

Also read: “We are no longer the young boys,” Alexander Zverev speaks on the NextGen’s battle with the Big Three after third round win at French Open 2021

Vivek has been writing on cricket & tennis for over a decade. He has worked with famous brands-- Mid-Day, Mumbai Indians & Dream11. He has also been to Grand Slams, Davis Cups & ATP tournaments. He also plays tennis at the club level. Besides being a Rafael Nadal fan, he has also enjoyed the privilege of interviewing the Spaniard.