Tuesday 18th June 2019

Federer set for clay court return – 10 years on from French Open win

ROGER FEDERER will play his first clay court match in three years as he prepares to make a return to the French Open.

The Swiss, 37, has won 20 Grand Slam titles but just one French Open, which came ten years ago.

 Roger Federer is back in clay court action for the first time in three years

Getty – Contributor
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Roger Federer is back in clay court action for the first time in three years

In preparation for a return to Roland Garros, Federer is competing in the Madrid Open this week.

He will then fing out his seeding which will either be third, fourth or fifth behind clear front runners Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Spanish publication Marca, Federer admitted that the idea of going back ten years after the French Open win against Robin Soderling makes it more special.

He said: “[It’s] Especially nice this year. It reminds me a little of what happened after the Australian Open in 2017.

“Neither I, nor you, nor my team know what to expect. Maybe the tour is going well or maybe I do not do anything.

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“It is possible that I can not get results but I hope to play more than two games. My goal is to have some victories here and also in Paris.

“I do not expect much from myself because I have not played on this surface. It is true that in practice I felt good, but I can not think that it will be good for me in the tournaments.

“On clay, miracles happen a few times because you have to hit a lot of balls.

“I can say that I feel ready but I do not know to what extent.”

Nadal, one of the greatest ever clay court players, lost twice in semi-finals last month and Djokovic's preparations have also faltered but Federer still believes that they are the players to beat.

“Who is No.1 and No.2?

"I understand that with what Rafa has won we expect more from him but there are still tournaments to be played.

"And the last one is Roland Garros, where both he and Djokovic are favourites in the best of five sets. One seeks to win the big four in the same year and the other defend the title again."

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ROGER FEDERER will play his first clay court match in three years as he prepares to make a return to the French Open.

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