Roger Federer to Play French Open for 1st Time Since 2015 After Aussie Open Loss

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2019

Switzerland's Roger Federer gestures to the crowd as he leaves the court after his defeat against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their men's singles match on day seven of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2019. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
JEWEL SAMAD/Getty Images

Roger Federer has confirmed he'll compete in the French Open for the first time since 2015.

The 37-year-old spoke after being knocked out of the Australian Open by Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets on Sunday:

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:

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.

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