TV host Annabel Croft reckons Roger Federer might look to tweak the way he prepares for a season and that might enable him to feature at the French Open.
Speaking in an exclusive interview to TennisWorldUSA, Croft refused to opine on what Federer should do with regards to playing on clay in 2019 but added that the champion player would look to undergo a change in the way he trains. And that, according to her could lead to Federer taking part during the clay season.
Croft thinks Federer’s reduced matches during 2018 was down to his early defeats at a few tournaments along with his decision to skip the French Open but criticising him for his decision wasn’t on thanks to his intelligent scheduling.
Interestingly, the TV presenter also said given the Swiss maestro’s burning ambition to win another Grand Slam, missing out on the French Open might not be such a bad move. Federer’s record on clay isn’t as good as on other surfaces, partly also because of Rafael Nadal’s domination on those courts and of the 20 Grand Slam titles he’s won, only one has been at the French Open.
“But it maybe a risk worth taking, to may be not play on clay, considering that he wants to win another Grand Slam at Wimbledon.”
Questions were being raised yet again of Federer’s loss of form in the second half of 2018 after he crashed out at the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon and fourth round at the US Open before failing to make it to the final at the ATP Finals.
However, Croft said it was futile underestimating someone of the stature of Federer, who has proved people wrong time and again. Federer had been written off after having won his last Grand Slam title at the 2012 Wimbledon but since then came back to add three more in 2017 and 2018.
Federer is yet to reveal his playing schedule for 2019 but he will kick-start his year with the Hopman Cup where he will represent Switzerland in the competition. This will be followed by the Australian Open following which his tournaments are yet to be revealed.
Last year, his Australian Open victory was followed by appearances at the Rotterdam Open, Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters, before he featured in a couple of grass-court competitions at Stuttgart and Halle in the lead-up to the Wimbledon.