Roger Federer has not been playing a full clay-court season since 2015, and he may not do it again also in 2018. Interviewed by L'Equipe, the Swiss tennis player said he still didn't make a decision about the spring schedule, and when asked if he can guarantee that will play in Paris at least one more time, he replied: 'No, I can’t.
Because Bercy is always after Basel and Roland Garros on clay, I don’t know what will happen next year', said Federer. 'I’d like to say yes, absolutely, I’ll come back and one day in Paris, and I think that will happen next year.
It may be twice, it may be never. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. The longer I stay on the tour, the bigger the chance I’ll return to Paris. Obviously, it’s tough for me to imagine never playing Roland or Bercy again, but the future is unknown.' Analyzing the reasons that brought him not to play on clay in 2017, Federer said: 'Honestly, it was a coin-flip situation.
I remember exactly where we were and how we decided. My entourage told me: ‘If you do it, Roger, think it over carefully. Because it will be a month where you’ll work like crazy. It won’t be easy, and what will it get you? Because if you don’t win Roland … And my physio was worried about my knee that had bugged me the year before.
My conditioning coach, Pierre [Paganini] told me: ‘Listen, there’s so much work to do before playing on clay, and, in the end, what’s the goal? Just playing? It’s your decision.’ The coaches told me: if the priority is Wimbledon, you have to really think about it.
Twenty-four hours later, I told myself: bah, you know what? OK, it’s tough, but it’s wise. It was the first time in my life I said no to a Slam while feeling healthy. Because of the year before I pulled out of Roland with a bad back and knee, and I couldn’t play the US Open because of the knee.
There was a solid reason each time. But this was a first and it was weird, yeah...' Finally about his rivalry with Rafael Nadal. Federer indicated the 2017 Australian Open final as his biggest win, while as the biggest losses Wimbledon 2008 and Rome 2006 finals.
About the last one, he added: 'I had two match points, playing five hours on clay. It would have been nice beating him in that final, in that magnificent Rome stadium. But Wimbledon, there were so many records on the line: the sixth win for me, the first for him, in the dark like that at the end [night fell at the moment of match point, at 9.16 PM].
It was extraordinary.' ALSO READ: Annabel Croft: 'Roger Federer comes at opponents fast and furious'