Tennis - A lot of fans and tennis pundits were surprised at Roger Federer's decision to play back-to-back clay court events in Hamburg and Gstaad after losing early at Wimbledon. While Federer maintained that his early loss at Wimbledon gave him some extra time to add to his schedule, there were also reports that the 17 time grand slam champion was paid a huge amount of appearance fees to play in these events.
Now, perhaps another reason could explain Federer's decision to play in these clay court events while the US Open is only six weeks away. The fifth ranked Federer, ranked outside the top 4 for the first time in a decade, was seen practicing in Hamburg on Monday with what looked like a new racket. The unmarked racket could be one of the reasons why Federer chose to play in these clay court events, ahead of the Masters Series events coming up in North America.
Federer is the top seed in Hamburg and opens up against local favourite Daniel Brands in the first round. He could run into in-form Latvian Ernests Gulbis in the third round. Federer has struggled this year, having won only one title. Neither Federer nor his racket company Wilson have made any comments yet.