Roger Federer is on the entry list of the 2021 Madrid Open, which is scheduled to be begin on 3 May. The Twitter handle of the Masters 1000 tournament recently posted the list for this year's edition, naming the top players that will play the claycourt event - Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and the Swiss maestro himself.
Federer had hinted earlier that he might play on clay before Wimbledon, in a bid to test the waters against the top players. And the Madrid Open, one of the three big tournaments in the lead-up to Roland Garros, will provide the 39-year-old the perfect opportunity to get some matches in.
Roger Federer has not competed on the tour since losing to Nikoloz Basilalshvili at the Doha Open. That itself was his first professional event after having been AWOL for more than a year due to a knee injury.
Federer's Doha exit prompted him into questioning his post-comeback progress. The Swiss declared in the immediate aftermath of the loss that he needed to do more practice before taking the court for a competitive match again.
Roger Federer has won the Madrid Open on 3 different surfaces
Roger Federer has been skipping several big claycourt tournaments over the last few years. He sat out of the clay season in 2017 and then did the same in 2018, before making his claycourt return at Madrid 2019. The 39-year-old lost to Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals of that tournament, in what was a very closely contested match.
Roger Federer has amassed a 37-9 record at Madrid thus far, winning the Masters 1000 tournament a total of three times in his career. Federer also happens to be the only player in the tournament's history to have clinched the coveted title on three different surfaces.
The Swiss maestro won his maiden Madrid title in 2006 (when the event was played on indoor hardcourts), beating Fernando Gonzalez in the final. The Swiss maestro then added another triumph to his bag in 2009, albeit on red clay, as he beat Rafael Nadal in the championship match.
Roger Federer went on to win his third and final title at Madrid on the new blue clay surface, beating Tomas Berdych in the final. The Fed Express' triumph on that surface is a unique feat, as blue clay was done away with at the subsequent editions of the tournament.