Roger Federer set to contest Madrid Open

Published by Reuters/Tennismash

Roger Federer, pictured competing at the Madrid Open in 2015 - his last appearance at the Caja Magica (Getty Images)
Roger Federer announces he will play May’s Madrid Open in the run-up to Roland Garros, marking his first appearance on clay since 2016 – and first in the Spanish capital in four years.

Roger Federer has confirmed his participation for this year’s Madrid Open, which will mark his first appearance during the European clay-court season after two years away.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played this year since his Australian Open fourth-round defeat by Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in January.

Federer, whose sole French Open title came in 2009, has preferred to skip the European clay season over the last two seasons in a bid to better manage his schedule.

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The 37-year-old Swiss is the second most successful player at the Caja Magica behind Rafa Nadal, winning three titles in 2006, 2009 and 2012.

“Federer is one of the best players of all time, it’s no secret,” tournament director Feliciano Lopez said in a statement on Wednesday.

“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 Djokovic and Nadal is going to be unmissable.”

World No.1 Novak Djokovic and 11-times French Open winner Nadal are also expected to feature at the Madrid Open, which will be played from May 3-12.

Federer’s last appearance in Madrid came in 2015, where he lost his opening-round match to Nick Kyrgios in a third set tiebreak.

He has not won a match at the Caja Magica since 2013, when he beat Radek Stepanek in the second round before falling to Kei Nishikori in the last 16.

The 37-year-old Swiss is currently ranked No.7, yet has an opportunity to work his way back up the list in the coming months.

After Indian Wells, where he was a finalist last year, Federer has a mere 10 ranking points to defend until the grass-court season in June.

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