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Nadal beatable on clay, says Federer

WORLD No. 2 Roger Federer believes his form is improving all the time and that he still has what it takes to rattle No. 1 Rafael Nadal and steal the Spaniard's French Open crown.

The 13-time grand slam winner has yet to win a title this year and has lost in semifinals twice to Novak Djokovic and twice to Andy Murray as well as falling to Nadal in the Australian Open final.

"I'm happy how I am playing now and it's getting better every week," Swiss Federer said ahead of the Madrid Open clay event.

"It's been rather a tough start to the season considering I haven't won a tournament yet but I think I am very close to turning it all around," he added.

"I have struggled a little bit against my main rivals. I was always very close to beating them. So I just hope I can turn the corner and win those matches."

Federer, 27, said it'd not necessarily be a bad thing if he went into the French Open later this month, the only grand slam to elude him, not having played Nadal on the Spaniard's favored clay this season.

Nadal has beaten his predecessor as No. 1 nine times out of 10 on the surface since 2005, his only defeat coming in the final of the Hamburg Masters in 2007.

"I think he's playing the tennis of his life right now," said Federer.

"But still I'm a great believer I can rattle him. I was so close at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

"Every match has to be played and I know that I have the game to beat him, even if he has beaten me on clay so many times and he knows how to beat me."

Federer is currently without a regular coach and said he was not considering hiring one anytime soon despite his lack of success. "At the moment I am very content with the situation. Things are calm in my team and I'm doing the right things and practising extremely hard to get my game back," he said.

"Of course the main goal for me is the French Open and Wimbledon, trying to regain the Wimbledon crown and trying to win the French Open for the first time.

"But I'm an open person and I'm always looking for ways to improve my game. So if that's talking to somebody else or somebody else giving me advice that's not a problem but at the moment it's not happening."


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