After his loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open, in a surprising move, Roger Federer announced that he will not skip the clay season. For the last two years, the Swiss tennis star took a hiatus from the clay court season and the French Open.
The number 7 ranked player was in terrific form in January and had a fantastic run at the Hopman Cup. The 37-year old looked set to clinch his second straight Australian Open with a good run in the first 3 matches. However, he was soon eliminated in the 4th round by an exceptional performance from Tsitsipas.
Roger will kick off his clay season by competing in the Madrid Open. According to a few predictions, he stands a pretty good chance to win due to the altitude. This is because the ball tends to travel pretty fast in the thinner air.
In an interview with Sport 360, he said, “I thought of it, in isolation, do I want to play the clay or not? The answer was yes.”
“This doesn’t mean this is my last clay-court season, whatever, or I had to play one more time before I retired. That was not the thinking. All I knew is after missing it for two to three years.”
The Swiss ace knew that he was ready from a physical standpoint. Even his family and team were ready to tackle it again.
Federer elected to maintain the rhythm and really enjoy his time on the clay surface. With regard to actually winning a tournament or a Grand Slam, he will have stiff competition. Most of it will come from the other members of the ‘Big Three’, but other players are good too. Stefanos Tsitsipas also proved that Federer was not invincible and will be aiming for another shock victory.