Roger Federer is prepared to move on swiftly from his French Open loss to Ernests Gulbis, as the Swiss has said he is already thinking about the grass court season.
The world number four was beaten by his Latvian opponent 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in their fourth round match at Roland Garros, and the defeat meant that the 2009 champion has failed to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time in 10 years.
But the record 17-time Grand Slam champion was relaxed about the surprising loss to the 25th seed, and he is happy to put it behind him.
The 32-year-old said: “Mentally I have already switched to the grass, to be quite honest.
“For me, it's like, the clay-court season was fun, but we are moving on. Clay doesn't need me anymore, I got flushed out here.”
First up on grass for the seven-time Wimbledon champion will be the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, a tournament that he has won six times, including in 2013, when he beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the final.
“Clearly first the focus is on Halle, try to defend my title there. It's nice going back to a place where I have to defend something.
“Hasn't been like this for a while, so that's something I'm looking forward to. I think when I'm healthy, like I have been now for the last six to nine months, I think I can also decide the outcome of the matches more than I could last year.
“I’m very excited about my chances for Wimbledon now this time.”
Federer holds the record of 13 singles titles on grass as well as the highest win percentage on the surface, though he is still looking to build on his one singles title of 2014, which he won in Dubai in March.
Changing to grass from clay is a transition that Federer is used to, and he feels that he is tactically able to make the adjustment.
“When you move on the quick ground, it's difficult to take the speed from the opponent. On clay it's different, and that's probably the reason I play rather well on grass after the clay season.”
Gulbis’ win over Federer will have come as a shock to him, as he had looked in good form at the second Grand Slam of the year, losing just one set in his opening three matches as he looked to win his first Grand Slam since winning Wimbledon in 2012.
Federer has shown inconsistent form on clay this year however, as a run to the final at the Monte Carlo Masters was followed by another shock loss against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the second round of the Rome Masters.
Holding on to his ranking points in Halle could be important in holding on to his world ranking of fourth before the seedings are announced for Wimbledon, which starts on Monday June 23.
His world ranking has improved two places from sixth at the end of 2013, though he could lose that position to Spaniard David Ferrer, dependent on how well he performs in the second week of Roland Garros and in the lead up to SW19.
The main competition that he will face in defending his title in Halle will be world number one Rafael Nadal, who is currently still playing at Roland Garros.
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