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Federer out to improve Paris record

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Originally published on: 10/11/10 12:38

There are not many tournaments that Roger Federer has failed to make his mark but the BNP Paribas Masters counts among them – but the Swiss will be out to put that right this week.

“This has been by far my worst [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000 tournament, so I hope I can do well this year,” admitted Federer, who lifted his 64th and 65th ATP titles in Stockholm and his hometown of Basel on Sunday.

But can Federer continue this run of form in Paris? his previous record suggests not – Federer has only made three quarter-finals in his seven appearances and last year suffered a shock defeat to Julien Benneteau in the second round.

“I’ve struggled here in the past with the feel of the [small] centre court dimensions, like at Roland Garros actually,” confessed Federer. “I just need one good tournament here. The quarters is just not good enough for me. That’s what I hope to change this year. We’ll see how it goes.”

Federer begins his charge for the title with an awkward opener against the flamboyant Frenchman Richard Gasquet this evening.

“I believe he has the potential to become top ten, there’s no question about that,” said Federer, who has won his last six meetings against the world No.28. “But tennis has become more mental and physical than before. Maybe that’s the reason why it’s so difficult to become top ten overnight.”

The quickness of the court is also another reason why Federer has struggled in the past and it doesn’t look to be any slower this year, something many of 32-man field have criticised this week.

But the world No.2 remains unfazed, and is actually relishing the challenge.

“It’s always going to be a tough tournament physically,” said Federer, who has a record of a win-loss record of 15-1 since his semi-final defeat at the US Open.

“I think it’s nice that some tournaments have made the courts faster again. I’m not saying it should be the trend for all the tournaments, but indoors is supposed to be faster.

“We only have one indoor Masters 1000, so I think it should be the fastest one, which is the case.”

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