Roger Federer has repeatedly expressed his intention to play some tournaments on clay before the season on grass. The Swiss phenomenon, who returned to the field after more than a year in Doha last week, does not appear on the entry list of the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, the first major event on crushed brick in April.
We'll see if the former world number 1 will play the tournaments in Madrid and Rome, or maybe he could opt for a lower category tournament by skipping Roland Garros. In the two meetings in Qatar, the 20-time Grand Slam champion showed a still poor physical condition, a completely normal feeling given the long absence and an age increasingly close to 40.
During a recent interview with 'L’Equipe', his compatriot Marc Rosset suggested that he participate in some tournaments on red as preparation for the Championships. The 39-year-old from Basel will also try to win the gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympics, so as to fill in one of the very few empty spaces in his immense bulletin board.
Marc Rosset talks about Roger Federer
"The year Roger Federer did not play on clay in 2018, he had made two grasscourt tournaments where he had not played a top 10 and then he lost against Kevin Anderson," Marc Rosset remarked.
Roger Federer has been thwarted repeatedly by Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in recent years, losing finals to the Serb in 2014, 2015 and 2019. And Marc Rosset suggested that Federer can prepare for his inevitable grasscourt meetings with Djokovic - and others in the top 10 - by playing them on clay.
"If he also wants to win Wimbledon, he will necessarily have to beat Djokovic, Nadal or other players who are in the top 10," Rosset said. "And to meet them, he will have to play these players in the Masters 1000 on clay or at Roland Garros."
His comeback at ATP Doha may not have met the soaring expectations of his fans, but Roger Federer would believe that he more than accomplished his objective in the tournament. Coming into the event after a 14-month absence from tennis to recover from a second keen surgery that he underwent last year, the 20-time Grand Slam champion played down expectations around his return saying he was simply happy to be back in his similar environs.
While he marked his return with a three-set win in his tournament opener against Englishman Dan Evans, Federer went down in the next to hard-hitting Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.