Roger Federer was happy with his training sessions in Switzerland in April. The 20-time Grand Slam winner had hit with Miomir Kecmanovic, Dan Evans and some Swiss youngsters in order to get ready for the Madrid Open. "It's been good," said the Basel native.
"It's been fun. I was lucky, we had good weather when I started. So that helped because I remember years ago -- or years ago -- three or four years ago, when I was practising it was snowing, like this weekend in Switzerland, and that didn't inspire me very much to go, you know, go practice on clay, or go into an indoor bubble and stuff, so that -- this year was easy.
I enjoyed myself a lot. I'm happy also that the decision I took last, I guess around December, when I started feeling like I definitely want to do the clay, that it was the right decision, you know, because I haven't looked back at the clay-court build-up yet, or everything that I have been doing, like maybe I shouldn't have.
It is really -- I'm happy, I'm here and I'm happy I'm on the surface, yeah." Asked why he trained with Evans, Federer replied: "You are just looking also at some players that are available, you know.
I think we were looking in that very moment at players that were not in a tournament or who have just lost at a tournament. And we reached out to him and he was ready to come. And it's also interesting sometimes to play with a one-handed backhand player who has got a slice and stuff and I know Dan, and he is a nice guy, and it was going to be a three-day or four days I think it was -- a four-day practice week.
And he was flexible and he could react very quickly. So, it was good. We had two tough days, it was so windy. It was unbelievable. I've never had practices in winds. You should ask him about it. It was hilarious. Anyway, it was good fun and I was happy he came."
Federer enjoyed a successful return to clay in Madrid, reaching the quarter-finals defeating Gael Monfils after saving two match points in the third round. He lost to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals.