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Federer favourite for Wimbledon crown - Ivanisevic

Omnisport logoOmnisport 04-07-2017 Alex Fisher
rogerfederer - cropped: Roger Federer preparing for Wimbledon 2017 © Provided by Omnisport Roger Federer preparing for Wimbledon 2017

Roger Federer has been backed to claim a record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title over the next fortnight by former champion Goran Ivanisevic.

Federer opens his campaign at the All England Club on Tuesday against Alexandr Dolgopolov after claiming a ninth success at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.

In the Open era only Pete Sampras can boast a record as impressive as Federer's at Wimbledon, both men having lifted the trophy on seven occasions.

Sampras won his titles in an eight-year span starting in 1993 but was denied triumph number eight by Federer in 2001, the Swiss knocking out the defending champion in the fourth round.

Federer went on to dominate the men's draw from 2003 before eventually drawing level with Sampras in 2012, and five years later Ivanisevic believes he has the chance to go past the American.

"He [Federer] is favourite," 2001 champion Ivanisevic told Omnisport at a HSBC event.

"He's playing well, he's playing well. Over the year nobody expected that but it's great to see him playing well. It's good for tennis, it's good for everything. 

"He's the favourite, but the favourite does not always win the tournament. It's a long two weeks and we will see next Sunday who is going to lift the trophy."

The Croatian added: "He's fit, he's moving unbelievably, much better than before. He's choosing his tournaments wisely, he's hungry like he's just starting to play tennis. 

"And people who underestimated Roger and said he'll never come back have made a big mistake because he's Roger Federer and when he's on the court you don't know what will happen. He can beat anybody any time and he can win grand slams.

"That will be another amazing story. He won I think [his] 18th [major] in Australia this year and last year he came short in the semi-finals against [Milos] Raonic. For him to win Wimbledon again, it means a lot to him."

Aside from Federer, Ivanisevic also backed compatriot Marin Cilic to go deep in the men's draw having reached the last eight in the previous three years.

"Marin Cilic for me, last year he had three match points against Roger," he said. 

"He was close and he's played the final of Queen's. So he's ready, he's free of injuries."

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