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What would the rest of Roger Federer's 2020 schedule look like?

Federer at this year
Federer at this year's Australian Open
Aakash Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 17 Feb 2020
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Roger Federer is the most decorated tennis player of all time. He holds a ton of records which are almost impossible to list here, but the most prolific among them are his tally of 20 Grand Slams and his record of 310 weeks as the World No. 1 (237 weeks consecutively).

Federer is currently the World No. 3 and one of the favorites to win any tournament he takes part in, right behind the No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal. The Swiss' last tournament was the Australian Open in January, the first Grand Slam of the year. He lost in the semifinal to eventual champion Djokovic, after surviving a pair of thrilling five-set matches against John Millman (third round) and Tennys Sandgren (quarterfinals).

With Federer still playing at such a high level, people often forget that he is 38 years old and that he has been on the tour for almost 22 years (he turned pro in 1998). At this stage of his career it is crucial for him to schedule his year as smartly as he can so as to minimize the chances of injury.

Here, we look at what Federer's schedule is likely to be like in 2020, along with the reasons why he could be participating (or not participating) in certain events.

Dubai Duty Free Championships (ATP 500)

Federer won the Dubai Duty Free last year
Federer won the Dubai Duty Free last year

This will be Federer's next tournament after the Australian Open. He has already confirmed that he will be playing in Dubai, a tournament he has won a record eight times, and where he will attempt to defend his title.

Indian Wells Masters (ATP 1000 Masters)

Federer at last year
Federer at last year's Indian Wells Masters

There is a very high chance Federer will be playing in Indian Wells, as it is the first Masters of the year and the conditions suit him too. The Swiss is already a five-time champion at Indian Wells and has reached at least the final the last five times he has played there (he skipped in 2016 due to injury while he won in 2017).

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Miami Open (ATP 1000 Masters)

Federer won in Miami last year
Federer won in Miami last year

I don't see Federer competing in Miami this year, although a lot depends on his performance in Indian Wells. If he has a good run in the desert, then I think he'll skip Miami to preserve his energy and body.

Although Federer is a four-time winner in Miami and the current defending champion, it is unlikely for him to to play there if he goes deep in Indian Wells.

Clay season

Federer at last year
Federer at last year's French Open
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Last season Federer played two Masters tournaments (Madrid and Rome) before Roland Garros, but it doesn't seem that he will continue the trend this season. His agent Tony Godsick has said that Federer plans on playing only the French Open this year, skipping all the other claycourt tournaments.

Even if Federer somehow changes his mind at the last moment, I expect him to play just one Masters tournament on the surface - most likely the Madrid Masters, where he is a three-time former champion.

Grass season

Federer came one point short of winning his 9th Wimbledon last year
Federer came one point short of winning his 9th Wimbledon last year

This is Federer's favorite and most successful part of the year, as the low-bounce and high-speed grass courts suit his naturally offensive style of tennis. I expect him to keep his grasscourt schedule unchanged from last year and play at Halle (ATP 500) first, where he is a record 10-time champion.

After that, he would compete for the most important event on the calendar, Wimbledon, where he is a record eight-time champion. Federer lost the final last year after having two match points against Djokovic, so you could say he has unfinished business there.

Olympics

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Federer was a silver medalist at 2012
Federer was a silver medalist at 2012's London Olympics

Federer has confirmed that he'll play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this year, scheduled to take place in July-August. He will be competing in the men's singles category at the very least, with no confirmation yet for other events (men's doubles, mixed doubles).

Federer will be aiming to win his first gold medal in the men's singles category, having already won the gold medal in men's doubles (Beijing 2008) and silver in men's singles (London 2012).

US Open Series

Federer at last year
Federer at last year's US Open

Federer will probably play a light schedule in North America, mirroring the one he played last year. He will most likely skip the Rogers Cup (ATP 1000 Masters) and directly play the Cincinnati Masters, which has been a happy hunting ground for me considering his seven titles.

After Cincinnati, Federer will travel to New York to participate in the last Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, where he is a five-time champion.

Finish to the season

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Federer won the Laver Cup with Team Europe in 2019
Federer won the Laver Cup with Team Europe in 2019

After the US Open, Federer will go to Boston to participate in his own tournament, the Laver Cup. The Shanghai Masters after that is dicey; there is a high probability that he will skip the penultimate Masters of the year as it would make for a jam-packed three months with the Olympics, Cincinnati Masters, US Open and then the Laver Cup already on his plate.

I would say there is a 50/50 chance that he will compete in the Shanghai Masters, depending on his fitness levels.

Federer with the 2019 Basel trophy
Federer with the 2019 Basel trophy

Federer will definitely play in Basel (ATP 500) as it is his home tournament and he has played the tournament in almost every year he has been on the tour, winning it a record 10 times. He will most probably skip the last Masters of the year in Paris, as he did last year.

Federer will then play the Nitto ATP Finals (assuming he qualifies, which he most probably will), ending the year at the O2 Arena in London.

Published 17 Feb 2020, 12:26 IST
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