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Roger Federer might consider playing a light schedule on clay

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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706   //    13 Feb 2018, 00:00 IST

2018 Australian Open: Men's Trophy Media Opportunity
Roger Federer

What’s the story?

Ahead of the Rotterdam Open, Roger Federer has dropped a major hint on Monday that he might consider playing during the clay season, although his schedule will be light should he opt to play. The Australian Open champion said that he has not decided about the clay season yet but explained that if he indeed does end up playing, it would be a ‘light schedule’ on the gruelling surface.

“The clay season is up in the air. If I am playing a lot during this part of the season it would be hard to play a robust clay season. It would be a light [schedule] if I do play,” the 36-year-old told the media at Rotterdam.

Federer also added that he nowadays chooses to play a tournament only if he feels 100 per cent and that will be his strategy moving forward.

In case you didn’t know

Federer, who won the French Open in 2009, skipped the entire clay season last year in a bid to remain fit for the grass swing. His decision later on paid off as the legend returned to conquer the grasscourts of Halle for the ninth time and the lustrous lawns of Wimbledon for a record eighth time.

The heart of the matter

The 20-time Grand Slam winner has set his sights on the World No. 1 ranking this week. He only needs to reach the semi-finals at the Rotterdam Open to dethrone Rafael Nadal from the top spot and also replace Andre Agassi as the oldest top-ranked player.

Should Federer come out on top of a potential quarter-final showdown with countryman Stan Wawrinka, it will be the first time since 2012 that he will be climbing to the pinnacle of the world rankings.

What’s next?

The Swiss maestro, who won the ATP Rotterdam in 2005 and 2012, will begin his quest for a third title at the Dutch port city as well as the World No. 1 ranking on Wednesday. He takes on World No. 116 Ruben Bemelmans, who is a qualifier at this event.

Author’s take

Keeping his age in mind, Federer is absolutely right to pick and choose tournaments so that he can prolong his professional career. Having said that, it would be absolutely amazing for the fans to see him back at Roland Garros, where they were deprived of a grand opportunity of seeing the Swiss in action for the last two years.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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