Roger Federer has explained why he has decided to play on clay court surfaces yet again and much to the relief of his fans, this has nothing to do with impending retirement plans.
The Swiss maestro, who is currently playing at the Dubai Open and gunning for his 100th title at the highest level of tennis, said he felt strong enough to switch between surfaces including clay. He also said he had felt differently in the previous seasons but for now, Federer reckons he would be able to adapt between clay and grass.
“I think after not playing for two years, also missing the French [Open] three years ago because of injury, I think the team understood that I was in the mood to do it again.”
“I did grow up on clay, after all. I felt like my body is strong enough now again to do the surface changes from hard to clay to grass to hard. In the past I felt different.”
“It was purely based on [the fact that] I would just like to play. We can always readjust the schedule accordingly depending how I play the clay.”
With Federer having agreed to feature in the Madrid Masters later this year, it would be his first tournament on clay in nearly three years. And while there was a speculation among his fans that it could be an indication this decision was based on a high probability he wanted to announce his retirement at the end of this season, the 20-time Grand Slam winner refuted that.
He said the call to play in Madrid had nothing to do with it being the last time Federer played on clay or even on the circuit before retiring. Federer admitted it would be challenging to get going on clay again but it would help him keep in rhythm for the later part of the year.
Federer, who takes on Philipp Kohlschreiber later today in Dubai, is expected to play in the French Open as well, a Grand Slam title he hasn’t won since his title victory in 2009.