[South Africa], June 28 (ANI): Twelve months after shutting down his season in the wake of a devastating semi-final defeat, Swiss maestro Roger Federer will once again go into the Wimbledon 2017 as favourites.
Federer went down to Milos Raonic in five gruelling sets on Centre Court in 2016 and had stunned everyone with his defeat.
After the loss, he was forced to be out of the tour for the remainder of the year because of a knee injury. And his Grand Slam title count was left on 17 where it had been since 2012.
However, the 25-year-old made a stunning comeback to the tennis arena as he defeated 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal in a gruelling five-set summit clash to win his fifth Australian Open in January and take his Grand Slam tally to 18.
And now, Federer, who turns 36 in August, is poised to break the tie for seven Wimbledon titles he shares with Pete Sampras and take his career tally at the majors to 19.
With world number one and two Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both struggling with form and Nadal fearing whether his injured knees will bear the pain and stress of the grass courts, Federer is all but set to go into the tournament as the favourite contender.
He would surely go into the tournament with loads of confidence, especially after clinching his ninth Halle title.
The 35-year-old, who crashed out of the Stuttgart Open in the very first round, was in impeccable form in Halle as he did not lose even a set in the entire tournament.
However, Federer believes his Stuttgart setback came at the right time ahead of Wimbledon which begins July 2.
"I was doubting myself a little bit, I must admit, because losing in the opening round for the first time in 15 years on grass was always going to shake me a little bit and it did," Sport24 quoted Federer as saying.
"So I'm happy to react right away and remind myself I actually can play well on grass," he added. (ANI)