Roger Federer Set to Make Clay Comeback at Madrid Open in May

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2019

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20: Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts in his fourth round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during day seven of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Fred Lee/Getty Images

Roger Federer has confirmed he will play on clay in 2019, with the Swiss in the draw for the Madrid Open.

The competition's Twitter account posted the following on Wednesday, with Federer back in the Spanish capital for this event for the first time in four years:

In 2017 and 2018, the 37-year-old didn't play on clay at all, choosing to focus on the hard court and grass events instead. 

However, after being knocked out of the Australian Open earlier this year by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals, Federer has decided to make a return to the surface and is expected to compete at the French Open.

Feliciano Lopez, the tournament director of the Madrid Open, said he's pleased to see the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be in action at The Magic Box, per Reuters (h/t the Guardian):

"Federer is one of the best players of all time, it's no secret.

"We are happy because his return to Madrid is a gift to the tournament, but above all the fans will be able to see a unique player in the Caja Magica. Having the Swiss player back on clay with [Novak] Djokovic and [Rafael] Nadal is going to be unmissable."

The inclusion of Federer is a big boost for the tournament, which is one of the most prestigious clay events on the circuit.

Federer won the Madrid Open in 2006, 2009 and 2012, although given this is his first clay competition for three years, it will be intriguing to see how he fares. 

The Tennis TV Twitter account provided a reminder of what the Swiss is capable of at this tournament:

Despite his reputation as one of the all-time greats of the sport, Federer will not be the favourite for glory when the action does get underway on May 3. 

Nadal, an 11-time French Open winner, has long been the dominant force on this surface, although Novak Djokovic was in irresistible form earlier in the year when he took the Spaniard apart in the final of the Australian Open.  

Related

    French Open women’s form guide: the players to watch at Roland Garros | Jacob Steinberg

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    French Open women’s form guide: the players to watch at Roland Garros | Jacob Steinberg

    Jacob Steinberg
    via the Guardian

    Kyrgios Withdraws from French Open After Italian Open Outburst

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    Kyrgios Withdraws from French Open After Italian Open Outburst

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Britain's Swan loses French Open qualifier

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    Britain's Swan loses French Open qualifier

    BBC Sport
    via BBC Sport

    Quiz: Test your 'love' of tennis in our pre-French Open quiz

    Tennis logo
    Tennis

    Quiz: Test your 'love' of tennis in our pre-French Open quiz

    BBC Sport
    via BBC Sport