UPDATE: The news of Roger Federer playing in the Rome and Madrid Masters, broken by Eurosport appear to be untrue. A trusted reporter has confirmed that Federer will, in fact, not be playing in the Masters events. But he will probably still play at the 2020 Roland Garros.
Just got the confirmation from Tony Godsick that rumours are not true that @rogerfederer will play Masters-Tournaments in Rome and Madrid 2020. Probably only Roland Garros on clay
— rene stauffer (@staffsky) February 13, 2020
Roger Federer is competing again this year during the clay season. In the build up to Roland Garros, Roger will play in the big events leading to the Major. The clay season is still some ways off yet though.
The Rome Masters have now announced that Roger Federer will indeed play at the event. The 38-year old will also play in the Madrid Masters event. Both are ATP 1000 events, and will take place later this year, in May.
Roger Federer to play on clay
Federer skipped the clay season, Roland Garros included, in 2017 and 2018. He did this to preserve his energy for Wimbledon, especially given that it is difficult to transit from clay to grass in a short time. Perhaps even part of him knew Rafael Nadal would not concede the French Major’s trophy.
Last year though, Roger did play the clay season. Many feared at the time that he was about to call it quits and was simply completing the Tour one last time. Of course, nothing of the sort happened and Federer continues to play, as he should.
FEDERER, Sì A ROMA 🇮🇹
— Eurosport IT (@Eurosport_IT) February 12, 2020
This is exciting news to know Roger will be there, competing against clay specialists like Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Fabio Fognini. Maybe he even hopes to disrupt Nadal enough in the Roland Garros to put him off from equaling his No. 20.
It doesn’t matter really. What does matter is that we get to see Roger on dirt again this year.
there were fears around his physical fitness during and after the 2020 Australian Open. The World No. 3 struggled with a groin injury scare when he faced American Tennys Sandgren in the quarter finals.
Sandgren played well and pushed Roger to the very brink of defeat. But ultimately Federer won the match 6-3, 2-6, 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-3. He somehow survived seven match points in the match before grabbing the victory.
“I don’t deserve this one, but I’m standing here, and I’m very, very happy.”
It’s not often you see Roger Federer after a victory saying he did not deserve it, because usually he does deserve it. But this was just that close and with his groin concerns, it was almost a miracle.
Fortunately though, now it looks like he is fully fit and raring to compete again. But there is still a long way to go until May. Federer will compete in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships starting on February 24.