Federer backs Nadal in Paris
Roger Federer accepts that Rafael Nadal will once again be the man to beat at the French Open after being thrashed by the Spaniard in the Rome Masters final.
The 31-year-old Swiss player, who has failed to win a tournament so far in 2013, was no match for a revitalised Nadal, who eased to a 6-1 6-3 victory.
However, Federer is pleased with his form and fitness heading into the French Open, insisting: "I am playing well and I am healthy, so I have everything to play for next week. This week was good to get an idea about what is working.
I don't want to think about [the French Open] yet. Let me enjoy this victory.Rafael Nadal
"Novak Djokovic has beaten Rafa once in Monaco, so he knows how to win, but only Robin Soderling has beaten him in Paris. It will be difficult."
Since returning from a seven-month injury lay-off in February, Nadal has reached eight finals in a row, winning six of them. He is 4/7 to win the French Open, while Djokovic can be backed at 7/4, Andy Murray at 1212/1 and Federer at 8/1.
After capturing his 24th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and seventh Rome Masters crown, Nadal said: "If you told me four or five months ago that after eight tournaments I would have won six titles from eight finals, I would say you are crazy.
"I don't want to think about [the French Open] yet. Let me enjoy this victory."
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