In an interview to the New York Times, Roger Federer commented on how low his expectations are ahead of the clay season. The Swiss player competes on the surface for the first time since 2016 Rome. “I feel now I can play pressure free, because what is there to lose? Nothing really.
I haven’t played on clay for three years so maybe for the first time in 15 years I can go to the French and be like, ‘Let’s just see what happens.’ And maybe that’s exactly what is going to make a beautiful result.
And if it’s, no problem. Then I have more time for the grass, and I still profited from a great buildup, and it made me strong physically, and it’s good for my game", said Federer ahead of the Madrid Open. On the differences between grass and clay, the 37-year-old added: “When you play too much on grass I feel you start guiding the ball whereas on clay you go with full swings."
Federer has a lot of memories from clay recalling his beginnings in the professional tennis: “My first challenger was on clay, my first satellite was on clay, the first player I beat was on clay. So clay came first”.
Federer concluded: "I feel well, I trained well, I may make a breakthrough in Madrid or even Paris but I know it can also be finished pretty quickly. That would not be the end of the world although I have the ambition and willingness to always win. I will try my best, as always."