Roger Federer has announced his clay court season for 2020 and unlike what was being rumoured earlier, he will be playing in only one tournament.
Yep, Feerer will be appearing at Roland-Garros to feature in the French Open this year but that will be the only competition he will take part in on clay.
This report comes from well-connected Swiss tennis journalist Rene Stauffer, who has confirmed Federer’s clay court schedule this year will be restricted to just that one competition. Earlier there were reports of Federer looking to take part at the Madrid and Rome Masters in the lead-up to the second major of the season.
Just got the confirmation from Tony Godsick that rumours are not true that @rogerfederer will play Masters-Tournaments in Rome and Madrid 2020. Probably only Roland Garros on clay
— rene stauffer (@staffsky) February 13, 2020
Federer had opted not to play on clay in 2017 and 2018 as he looked to restrict the number of tournaments he featured in. However, in 2019 he took the call to take part in three clay tournaments; Madrid Masters, Rome Masters and the French Open.
The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam winner was a losing quarterfinalist at both, Madrid and Rome but went on to defeat Stan Wawrinka en route the French Open semifinal. He lost to the eventual winner Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the semis.
That was Nadal’s sixth win over Federer at the French Open with the Swiss-man having never beaten his arch-rival at the competition.
Federer has won the Madrid Masters on clay on two previous occasions, beating Nadal once and clinching the competition on the experimental blue clay as well. He has never lifted the Rome Masters though, despite making it to the final on four separate occasions, losing to three different opponents.
Federer’s last title on clay came in Istanbul in 2015 when he defeated Pablo Cuevas in the final following a first round bye. 20 titles later, he will have just one shot at clay this year and it will at Roland-Garros where Nadal and Dominic Thiem will start off as favourites.