Federer has 'no regrets' over Roland Garros absence
Roger Federer says he has no regrets over missing the entire clay-court season, including the French Open.
After starting 2017 in sensational fashion, winning the Australian Open and Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami, Federer opted to enjoy a period of rest that resulted in him not competing at Roland Garros as Rafael Nadal claimed a 10th title.
Federer' return to action in Stuttgart last week proved brief as he suffered a shock defeat to fellow veteran Tommy Haas, but the Swiss remains at peace with his decision to take time away from the ATP World Tour.
"Considering how well I felt going into Paris, it was surprisingly easy to take the decision and after making it I never had any regrets watching it or following the results," said the Swiss ahead of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle - an event he has won on eight occasions.
"I never thought, 'if only I was part of the tournament'. I was looking ahead to the grass season and enjoyed the time with my friends and family at home.
"For a long time the schedule was to play Paris but all of a sudden I just felt that I wouldn't be comfortable doing it. I didn't want to compromise the goal of the grass-court season, Wimbledon, the US Open and beyond.
"I felt that the French Open may potentially have a negative effect on what's to come. It may have been helpful, but I felt there was more risk that it would go the other way. Based on health, that’s why I decided to skip.
"But it's not a trend that I might follow in the future. I don't know what the future holds. This was just a one-off decision."
Reflecting on his three-set defeat to Haas earlier this week, Federer added: "It could have been better in Stuttgart, but then again I had match point. It wasn't like I lost 6-2, 6-2 and everything was terrible.
"A comeback is never simple, especially on grass where margins are so slim. It's a serve or a passing shot or a return that determines the outcome of the match.
"That's what it ended up being against Tommy, even though I felt I should have found a way home, having been a set and a break up."
Federer could not ask for a more comfortable setting for his next event, given his multiple successes in Halle.
"The history I have here, having come and played well so often, definitely should help me to play good tennis this week," he noted.
"I love playing here. I think I can come in here with good confidence."