Roger Federer counts himself as an “outsider” for the French Open title this year and says he is not merely trying to temper expectations on his return to the clay court Grand Slam following a four-year absence.
The 37-year-old, whose previous appearance at Roland Garros came in 2015, beats Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 6-2 6-4 6-4 on Sunday in his first match back on the red clay in Paris to ease into the second round.
The Swiss is seeded third behind Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but is only fifth-favourite for the title with most bookmakers giving Austria’s Dominic Thiem and Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas a better chance of victory.
“It’s nice to be an outsider. That’s how I feel, anyhow.
“This is not a show I’m putting on. This is the truth. I really don’t know how far I can go in this event, and I am very happy with my first round.
“It was a really good performance, I thought, from my side for not having played here for as long as I did,” Federer told…