Federer to skip clay season to concentrate on Wimbledon

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Federer to skip clay season to concentrate on Wimbledon

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SportsCafe Desk

04/04/2017

Roger Federer has said that he will take a two-month break from the ATP Tour and return just before the start of the French Open on May 22. Federer, who won the Miami Open this week, added that he will stick to hard courts and described Wimbledon as his "biggest goal" in the near future.

The 35-year-old Swiss maestro has been exceptional since his return from injury earlier this year. He started off by securing his 18th Grand Slam title in Melbourne before landing the Indian Wells and Miami crowns as well. However, after beating long-time rival Rafael Nadal in Miami, Federer confirmed that he will skip several clay court tournaments, including Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome and make a comeback a couple of weeks before Roland Garros.

"I'm not 24 anymore so things have changed in a big way and I probably won't play any clay court event except the French. That is what it is going to look like, I need rest, my body needs healing, I need time as well to prepare, you will probably see me at the French again," Federer told ESPN website.

"I want to stay healthy and enjoy myself. Because when I am healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this, when I am not feeling this good there is no chance I will be in the finals competing with Rafa.

Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal now, in the near future, the American hard courts I guess as well

"That is why this break coming now in the clay court season and focusing everything now on the French, the grass and then the hard courts after that is going to be the key for me."

However, this doesn't come as too big a surprise for Federer fans who have seen his best performances coming on harder courts. The Swiss has won the French Open just once in his career while picking up seven titles on the green grass of Wimbledon. 

"I will probably stay on hard courts ... and get on the clay two weeks before the French, that's the plan for now and hopefully I will play the French and we will see how the build-up is going to go and for me that's essentially when the season really starts," Federer said.

Maybe being away from the clay as much as possible is a good thing

"Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal now, in the near future, the American hard courts I guess as well. The French Open I guess, to some extent, we will see what happens, no pressure there really.

"But all of the grass is important to me. For me, basically, the second half of the season is the big priority which is why I am taking this break now."

With age not being on his side as well, the tiring clay season might just be a step too far for the legendary Swiss. Federer missed the second half of the season last year after undergoing surgery on his knee after the clay season and candidly accepted that he had some concerns that clay might cause trouble for his knee again.

"Part of the situation was that my knee was really strange on the clay last year, so maybe being away from the clay as much as possible is maybe is a good thing as well, even though I don't think it was because of the clay as such," Federer explained.

"But my physio, my fitness guy, thought that could be also a good thing not to be to be too much on clay. I feel very comfortable, very confident it is the right decision."

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