Federer ready for Istanbul Open

Federer will be looking to win his 11th clay-court title this week before competing in Madrid and Rome prior to the French Open. 

Federer's clay-court season has not gotten off to the best of starts as he was beaten by Gael Monfils two weeks ago in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in Monaco. 

However, Federer is hoping to set things right by gaining some much-needed confidence and match practice prior to the French Open. 

"The French Open clearly is a big goal of mine, but to play well at the French Open I need confidence and I need to play well, and I hope can pick that up here in Istanbul and really win a lot of matches, preferably win the tournament," Federer told the official ATP site. "That’s why I’m here, at the end of the day is to win this."

The French Open has been Federer's least successful Grand Slam since he only won the tournament once in 2009. But, after having worked tirelessly to improve his performance on clay, Federer will be hoping to taste glory at Roland Garros for the second time in his career. 

"It’s about getting used to the sliding and just wanting to decide how aggressive I want to play," he said. "Clearly I play on hard court for 7-8 months like all the other players. It just take some adjustments. For that, I’m trying to put up as many hours as I can on the clay and I think my game is going to get better and better as we move along."

But, before he starts thinking about the French Open, Federer is hoping to spend a "nice long week" in Istanbul. 

"I’ve heard a lot of great things about Istanbul and the country; I’ve always wanted to come visit," he said. "I saw the pictures before I came here and I was hoping it was going to be like this, so I’m happy it’s as pretty as it is and I’m really enjoying myself.

"I hope it’s going to be a nice long week and I hope it’s a lot of matches and I stay here as long as possible."