Roger Federer's chances of finally winning an
18th grand slam title are fading but not gone, John McEnroe said as he
inaugurated the new grass centre court which will serve a showpiece of
the 2015 Mercedes Cup.
The American arrived from London on an early
flight to prepare for a baptismal exhibition at the new facility at the
Weissenhof Club as the longtime clay event chances to turf for the first
of three pre-Wimbledon weeks on grass which mark the ATP next calendar.
"Roger has been so great for so long, I thought
he could still win another major," said McEnroe, 55, who teamed on the
new court laid with the supervision of Wimbledon groundsmen, with former
Wimbledon winner Michael Stich. The German, current tournament director
of the Hamburg event, won the All England club title in 1991.
"Of course, his best chance for a title would
come at Wimbledon," he said as the 32-year-old Federer, a seven-time
Wimbledon winner, lost the weekend Wimbledon final - his ninth - in five
sets and four hours to Novak Djokovic. "he was moving much better than I
thought he could. I thought he played incredible," said the American.
"That final was one of the best matches I've ever seen.
"Even though he got through the semi-finals and
into the final, he was not able to get over the hump. Roger had a great
draw, everything was falling his way. it looked to me like he could pull
McEnroe, who won Wimbledon trophies in 1981,
1983 and 1984, added: "The way he played, you have to give him a chance
again, Maybe he can catch one of these top guys on an off-day."