Roger Federer believes it won’t take much time for rival Novak Djokovic to find his winning form following a series of setbacks that pushed the Serbian outside the top-3 in the ATP world ranking for the first time in eight years. The Swiss Maestro admitted that Nole has been playing for a player of his abilities, but things could get better for him once he recaptures his old form.

Federer on Nole’s Struggle

During his pre-tournament press conference in Stuttgart, Federer had the opportunity to discuss Djokovic’s ongoing struggle and the sudden shift of power in the world rankings after just one year. "When compared to a year ago, when he [Djokovic] held all four Grand Slams, he's in a relatively difficult situation," Federer said in the presser via Yahoo Sports Australia.

For the first time since 2009, Djokovic ranks outside the top-3 after failing to reach beyond the quarterfinal round of the first two major tournaments (2nd round at Australian Open and quarterfinal round at the French Open). The Serb’s last victory also came several months ago at the Qatar Open. After that, it has been a free-fall for Djokovic who absorbed a series of shocking losses against up-and-coming opponents and came up short against top-tier players.

As what Federer experienced in the previous years before finding a second wind in his career, he thinks going through some down moments is all part of the process. The Swiss admitted he rarely watched Djokovic’s matches this year but he is 100 percent sure Djokovic will bounce back and will eventually win Grand Slams in the future.

Stuttgart’s Shocker

Speaking of on-court struggle, Federer experienced it first hand after losing to long-time competitor Tommy Hass 6-2, 6 (8)-7, 4-6 in the first round of the Mercedes Cup Open in Stuttgart, Germany.

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Federer, who decided to skip every tournament in the clay court season including the French Open, was noticeably not in his tip-top form after a long layoff.

Nevertheless, Federer might have already expected the results based on his tone during the post-game presser. The reigning Australian Open winner isn’t considering his stint at Stuttgart a complete failure since he had some really good moments in the match. Federer did score 23 aces, and a series of forehand beauties in the match, but he clearly didn’t bring with him the killer instinct to finish off Hass in pressure-packed situations.

What’s next for Federer

Federer is scheduled to resume his grass-court campaign at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. The Swiss is an eight-time champion in the tournament and one of the heavy favorites in this year’s competition. Also present to spice up the tourney are Dominic Thiem, Kein Nishikori, Lucas Pouillie and Alexander Zverev. Pouillie is coming off his first ATP title at Stuttgart while Zverev upset Federer in the semifinal last year.