Roger Federer
Roger Federer won the 2017 Australian Open after defeating Rafael Nadal in the final Getty

Tennis legend Rod Laver believes Roger Federer's form can help him to win this year's French Open.

The 35-year-old missed the second half of the last calendar year due to a knee injury. He lost to Milos Raonic in the 2016 Wimbledon semi-final and pulled out of rest of the season to focus on his recovery.

Federer returned to action earlier in January and since then, he has won the 2017 Australian Open, Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Open. He defeated compatriot Stan Wawrinka at the Indian Wells Masters, while winning the other two finals after defeating Rafael Nadal.

He decided to take a 10-week break following his last success in Miami, meaning he will miss the entirety of the clay court season. There were concerns over the Swiss tennis ace's participation at the 2017 French Open that starts on 22 May, but Federer revealed he will take part in the second Grand Slam of the year. Laver has backed him to win his 19th Grand Slam title in Paris.

"The way he's playing. It isn't a far-reaching situation for him to win the French (Open)," Laver said, as quoted by the www.tennisworldusa.org.

Federer has defeated Nadal in the last three meetings. Laver explains a key aspect of the Australian Open winner's game that has helped him beat the Spaniard.

"It's night and day. It's like he found a totally new backhand. (Nadal) has that left-handed forehand that goes into Roger's backhand, so he usually starts the point behind. Now he's capable of holding up under the pressure Rafa puts him under," he explained.

Nadal has enjoyed success on clay court. He started the clay court season by winning the Monte- Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open. He has his eyes set on the Madrid Open and success in the Spanish capital will make him one of the firm favourites to win the French Open.