Roger Federer has been enjoying some sort of renaissance since the start of last year in the wake of taking a six month lay off in the last half of 2016. Since his return to the tour, he has won the Australian Open twice(2017 and 2018), the Wimbledon, did the Indian wells and Miami double a year ago and returned back to World No 1 this year February subsequent to winning the Rotterdam Open. However since the success story began a year ago he hasn’t played any clay court event, as a matter of fact he hasn’t played any clay court event since the year 2015. He has chosen to take after the pattern again this year where he said following his loss to Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Miami open this year that he will skip the clay court season again this year to focus on his most loved surface (grass) which is the reason we why we will take a look if it is a good or bad decision
It is believed that the clay court is the most difficult and tasking surface to play on for players, so at 36 years old Federer believes it is shrewd to take a break having played such huge numbers of matches in the first three months of the year. This will empower him to rest and focus on the surface he has dominated for the past fifteen years. He doesn’t want to jeopardize his chances at Wimbledon by playing the clay events which will take an immense toll on his body after all he has won the Roland Garros previously.
Nevertheless, there’s no better time for Federer to play clay events than this time. A considerable lot of his fans will like to see him make a last push on clay in light of the fact that regardless of what many may think, Federer won’t be on tour forever and he has at most three years left on tour and with him taking the choice to skip clay this season, the odds of him playing at Roland Garros next year is Slim if you consider he will be just about 38 years around then. Likewise had Federer chosen to play Roland Garros this year he will have a superior opportunity to get one over his Main rival (Nadal) on his most loved surface. This is on the grounds that Nadal’s fitness going into the clay season is a worry having retired at the Australian Open Semi final against Cilic and didn’t play until last weekend for Spain at the Davis Cup which was played on clay. In addition, the fitness and form of the likes of Djokovic and Wawrinka has dipped who both since returning from a lengthy lay off hasn’t hit top gear yet. Federer could’ve taken advantage of the vulnerability in his rivals game and maybe go a step further by winning his second Roland Garros title. He could have also decided to play the clay events by gaining points in the battle for No 1 with Nadal who has about 5,000 points to defend in the clay season. If Federer plays the clay events he will gain some points coupled with Nadal losing some points he will be defending, this will put Federer in a good position to get the Year end No 1 ranking going into the second half of the year knowing he has a lot of points to defend in the second half of the year(And yes it will be a big feat for him to finish as the year end No 1). You could see how returning back to No 1 meant to him after winning the Rotterdam Open.
However, at the grand age of almost 37 years, an Elder Statesman of the game, having won all that is available in tennis and also being the Greatest of All Time, he has earned the right to do whatever he wants to with his schedule and he has always got it right always and you can expect him to get it right again this time too.