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.