The 37-year-old spoke after being knocked out of the Australian Open by Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets on Sunday:
👍😀@rogerfederer just announced in Melbourne that he will be competing at Roland Garros ! "It’s a bit of a desire. I’m in a phase where I want to have fun and I’ve missed not doing it. I don’t feel it is necessary to have a big break again”. #RG19 📷©@corinnedubreuil / FFT https://t.co/ocREQuk6lp
Federer has skipped the clay court season for the last two years in order to remain fresh for Wimbledon, having missed the 2016 French Open through a back injury.
Tsitsipas came from behind to beat two-time defending champion Federer 6-7 (11), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in their fourth-round clash in Melbourne.
Despite making five finals at Roland Garros, the French Open has been Federer's least successful Grand Slam, as he has won just one of his 20 major titles there.
As such, it was the obvious surface to skip as managing his body became more important to ensure he remained competitive throughout the season.
It proved an effective tactic in 2017, when he won the most recent of his eight Wimbledon titles after sitting out the clay season.
Christopher Clarey of the New York Times and sports journalist Uche Amako questioned his decision to return to the French Open this year, given the impact it could have on his performance at Wimbledon:
Uche Amako @UcheAmako
Roger Federer confirms he will play on the clay this year after skipping it the past two years. Strange that he has decided to return given his age & strain on his body. He has very little chance of winning the French Open. So why not rest & prepare for Wimbledon again? #AusOpen
His decision to return there is perhaps an indication of an intent to retire this year, with the appearance in Paris potentially serving as one last chance to add to his single French Open title and bid farewell to Roland Garros.
Whether it is or not, those in Paris will be delighted to have the chance to witness him live once again.