Back in December, the world no. 7 Roger Federer had confirmed he should play on clay in 2019, staying away from the ATP tournaments on the slowest surface since Rome 2016! In March, Roger announced he would skip Monte Carlo since it comes too soon after Miami where he won the 28th Masters 1000 title in great style, choosing the Mutua Madrid Open as the first (and probably the only stop) before Roland Garros.
Roger has not played in Madrid since 2015 and that epic clash against Nick Kyrgios when he wasted two match points in a 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 loss, standing as the first champion of this event since it switched the surface and moved to Caja Magica in 2009, also celebrating in the Spanish capital on hard court back in 2006.
Roger has been added to Rome entry list directly and will probably wait and see how his Madrid campaign would develop before possible withdrawal from Rome where he never won the title. On Monday, Roger posted a picture from the clay court together with Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, working hard on that long anticipated return in Madrid and chasing the first title on clay since Istanbul 2015 there.
The 37-year-old was off to a great start of the season, just like in 2017 and 2018, winning 18 out of 20 matches and lifting trophies in Dubai and Miami to pass the magical 100-title mark and build confidence ahead of the upcoming clay swing where he should be a contender with his 'A game,' despite the fact he stayed away from clay for three years.
After winning the title on blue clay in Madrid in 2012, Roger has played only three matches in the Spanish capital, losing to Kei Nishikori in 2013 and against Kyrgios in 2015 before the quarter-final stage.