In an interview to The Tennis Channel Roger Federer commented on his decision to play on clay for the first time since 2016. The Swiss player said: "It was never the plan to miss three French Opens, to be honest. In '16 I had to, in '17 I went on clay for a couple of days until I spoke to the team and asked them, What do you guys think.
I have had such a wonderful year so far, don't know how the knee is gonna react, I think it's gonna be fine. But then I had just won the Australian Open and Indian Wells and Miami, the Sunshine Double, I was on the clay and they thought, Just be really sure that you want to do this.
I was like, Well, I am not so, so let's not do it. So that was the clay for '17 and then in '18 I was not in the mood, I was happy to have an extended break again, for longevity reasons that I could still stay in the game and this year I was not in the mood to have a massive break and I was also excited about going back onto clay because I really feel the body is in a great place right now and I'd like to play the French Open again and mix up the schedule again so it became very naturally and I asked the team what they thought.
They said: 'Don't ask us, as long as you are happy to be keen playing, that's all we care about. And whatever tournament you want to play, that's all good, so that was very nice of my team to say."