Roland Garros: Dominik Koepfer wants to give Roger Federer a ‘battle’

The German tennis player will face the Swiss maestro in an intriguing third-round clash on Saturday.

Dominik Koepfer celebrates his second round win at Roland Garros; Credit: Instagram/dominik.koepfer

Dominik Koepfer is eyeing a place in the second week of Roland Garros for the first time after two impressive wins so far in Paris. The 27-year-old German has earned a dream third-round match against Roger Federer on Court Philippe-Chatrier in the process. “That would obviously be amazing,” Koepfer said on Thursday when Federer was still locked in battle with 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic. “I’ve never played with him. I’ve never practised with him… I’m excited to be in the third round. I’m confident, and [I] hope I can give him trouble, whoever it is, and try to reach the round of 16 again.”

On Thursday, the 20-time Grand Slam champion ultimately prevailed in a tight four-set clash against Cilic, setting a meeting against Koepfer. Meanwhile, the German had to battle past 30th seed Taylor Fritz  6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in his previous round. It’s only the second time that Koepfer has gone past the second round at a Grand Slam after reaching the US Open fourth round from qualifying in 2019.

“Obviously it’s going to be a big moment, walking out there and playing one of these guys,”  Koepfer said. “But I’ve been around now for maybe like two years on the ATP Tour, played the bigger tournaments for the second time now, and I’m starting to feel like I belong here. [I’m] starting to believe in myself, and obviously results come if you keep believing and keep pushing.

“I think it’s good knowing I’ve played [Novak] Djokovic before and I played a tight match with him, so that kind of takes the anxiety and the nervousness a little bit.”

Koepfer only had good words to say about the former World No. 1 and 20-time Grand Slam champion. He is eager to give Federer a “battle” when they face each other. “He’s so crafty. He’s so talented. It’s amazing to watch him play,” Koepfer said.

“He’s different than all the other players, and I hope Roger wins just so I can say I played him. I don’t just want to play him; I want to give him a battle and maybe come out with a win somehow.”

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