BY ABAYOMI ABAYOMI
Roger Federer would not rule himself out but believes usual suspects like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Xerev are also favourites.
The big Swede spoke to the tournament’s website on Thursday after he defeated Jan-Lennard 6-4 6-4 7-6(4) in the Second Round.
He said: “It doesn’t matter what I think. It doesn’t matter who makes those calls. Still a lot of tennis to be played.
“I did say the first two matches you’re going to see who’s doing well and not so well. With Stan, we saw he’s definitely not at 100% yet. Novak seems good to me, coming through the heat today. I think that was a good test for him. Should definitely give him confidence. Zverev seems also to be in good shape. Rafa the same.
“I think the suspects, the usual suspects, that we thought could win the tournament, seem to be around. Yeah, but there’s definitely some guys missing, so the draw is going to have some openings. DelPo is also in good shape.
“Should be an interesting tournament. I’m happy I’m still part of it really, because I knew Struff could be tough today.”
Asked if players should earn more playing in tournaments, Federer said: “
“Yes, they could definitely pay more, no doubt about it. But we don’t need to talk about that right now in the third round or second round of a tournament.
“They know that. We’re not partners. We’re just players. It’s always hard to rally. We had a good agreement, in my opinion, that made the Grand Slams happy, the players pretty happy. Seems like that has run its course.
“The moment that happens, there’s not the same increases any more, so players have to rally, get back together again, put in the effort. The Grand Slams know that. They will only react when we do so. We’re ready to do it. It’s going to be the same process over and over again.
“It’s a bit boring, to be honest, always having to ask for stuff. If you look at the revenue, the sharing process, it’s not quite where it’s supposed to be. But, look, you can’t go from here to right there in a day. We know that. We just hope they realize and they do appreciate us maybe more all the time and not just in waves, you know what I mean?
“But it’s all good. We have good contacts with the slams. It’s all good. But it’s going to be a never-ending story.”