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Federer says he's ready to challenge for top ranking after a month's rest
MADRID (AP) ' Roger Federer says he's ready after a monthlong break from tennis to challenge Novak Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking.
The third-ranked Federer is set to return at the Madrid Open, a tournament he won in 2006 and 2009.
Federer said Sunday he's "excited to be back" after a long offseason, but it was a break he needed "after playing so, so much." He adds that he's now in a "good position" to regain the top ranking if he wins a major championship.
The 30-year-old Swiss calls Rafael Nadal the tournament favorite. He's also withholding judgment on the event's new blue clay surface. Federer says it "feels different," but he wants to play a match on center court before giving his opinion.