Former player Patrick McEnroe recently spoke at length about Roger Federer's French Open ambitions. McEnroe reckons Federer wouldn't be expecting to go all the way at Roland Garros, but that he would still be determined to play well.
Patrick McEnroe, the younger brother of the legendary John McEnroe, was once ranked as high as World No. 21. His best Grand Slam singles result came at the 1991 Australian Open, where he made the semifinals. McEnroe has a Grand Slam to his name in doubles; he won the 1989 French Open crown partnering Jim Grabb.
While speaking with Reuters earlier this week, Patrick McEnroe claimed that Roger Federer never enters an event unless he thinks he can do well in it. The 54-year-old did suggest, however, that Federer would have set his goals at a more realistic level going into the 2021 French Open.
"He wouldn't be showing up to play if he didn't think he could play well," McEnroe said. "But I don't think he is realistically going there thinking he could win the tournament."
Patrick McEnroe also opined that Roger Federer is not solely driven by the desire to win every tournament he plays. The American believes the biggest motivator for Federer is his love for the game, and he claimed that that is also what makes the Swiss so popular and durable.
"He just loves the game," McEnroe added. "He loves to play. I don't think he plays with the sole intention of 'I'm going to play to try and win every tournament'. And I think that's part of his popularity and part of his sustainability."
Patrick McEnroe went on to point out that when Roger Federer was at his peak, he would never be the favorite at Roland Garros due to a certain Rafael Nadal. As such, the American doesn't have much hope from the current Federer, especially given his recent fitness struggles.
"Even when Roger was at his highest level he was the second best claycourt player in the world, which is saying something," McEnroe continued. "I don't think we can say that right now, especially coming off such a long layoff."
Roger Federer is still a threat to win a big tournament: Patrick McEnroe
During the interview, Patrick McEnroe asserted that Roger Federer still has the ability to win big tournaments. The 54-year-old believes Federer is one of the greatest players of all time, and as such can never be written off.
"He's still a threat to win a big tournament," Patrick McEnroe said. "I never underestimate greatness and he's great, one of the greatest if not the greatest of all time."