The question of when and where Roger Federer will next play tennis has been answered.
The 39-year-old tennis legend Tweeted Sunday he will make his return at the Geneva Open on clay in his native Switzerland May 16-22 and will then play the French Open beginning May 30. He has reportedly withdrawn from both Madrid (April 30-May 9) and Rome (May 9-16) in order to continue training.
After more than a year away from the tour following two knee procedures, the 20-time Grand Slam champion returned at Doha last month, winning his first match and losing his second.
He then withdrew from Dubai in order to train and prepare going forward. He plans to play Halle (Germany) which he has won 10 times as a warm-up to Wimbledon, and is also committed to play Halle in 2022 when he will be 40.
Federer also hopes to play in the Tokyo Olympics — he has never won a gold medal in singles — and at the U.S. Open later this summer.
“I might be better earlier, that would be a bonus and that means I’m at 100 percent before Wimbledon,” he said last month.
“I’ll just see how much workload the body and the knee still take and what’s the best way to prepare all the way for basically the beginning of the season for me, which is the grass court season.”
Still, he plans to play some clay court events this spring. Rafael Nadal, Federer’s greatest rival, will be seeking a 14th Roland Garros title and record-breaking 21st major in Paris. The two last met there in the 2019 semifinals, with Nadal winning in straight sets in extremely windy conditions.
Nadal tied Federer’s mark of 20 majors by winning the French Open again last October, routing Novak Djokovic in the final.
“What comes before the grass courts are the clay courts,” Federer said. “So from that standpoint, I have no choice but to play on clay if I want to play matches.
“It could be good for me, the clay. It could be bad for me, the clay. So I will only know in practice, but I don’t think it’s going to be bad, to be honest.”