Federer out of spotlight at French Open

By HOWARD FENDRICH | May 21, 2011 | 9:12 AM EDT

Switzerland's Roger Federer smiles during a press conference at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday May, 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — It's been eight years since the last time Roger Federer wasn't seeded No. 1 or 2 at a Grand Slam tournament.

It's also been that long since he went 12 months without winning a major title.

With the French Open starting Sunday, Novak Djokovic's winning streak and Rafael Nadal's pursuit of a sixth title at Roland Garros dominate the conversation.

That means the third-seeded Federer is out of the spotlight. And he's fine with that.

Federer says people "expect more from Rafa and Novak, and that could be a good thing for me." And, he adds, it could mean "more pressure for them."

Federer owns a record 16 major singles championships, including the 2009 French Open. But he lost in the quarterfinals or semifinals at each of the last four majors.