Roger Federer makes big claim about French Open participation in future

Roger Federer
Roger Federer Reuters

Roger Federer has said he is hoping to grace the clay-courts of Paris and feature in French Open again before he draws curtains to his celebrated tennis career.

Federer is one of the biggest names missing from action in the ongoing French Open tournament. The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn't featured in Roland Garros since his quarter-final exit in 2015.

The Swiss great's amazing 16-year streak of not missing a Grand Slam ended in the following year when he withdrew from French Open, citing knee injury.

Federer had helped raise eyebrows when he opted out of the whole of the clay-court season last year, right after dominating the early-season hard-court swing, winning the Australian Open and the Sunshine Double to complete what was a remarkable comeback from injury.

The former French Open champion's decision to skip the clay-court swing of the tour for the second straight year in 2018 had tennis community wondering if he had given up on the clay-court Grand Slam.

Federer: Being a father & great husband influenced the decision

"In consultation with my team, it became clear that if I wanted to try hard to stay on tour for a few more years, I could not play the same busy schedule that I did years back," Federer told Vogue Magazine.

"I needed to balance everything in my life and make sure I had enough time for training, rest, and recovery—and philanthropy. Also, being a father to four kids and a great husband for my wife was paramount in deciding my schedule," he added.

"But hopefully, I can play Roland-Garros again before my career is over."

Federer's carefully-planned stops on the tour worked wonders for him last season as the 36-year-old returned from the clay season break to win a record eighth Wimbledon title.

The Swiss star will be hoping to emulate last year's performance on grass courts when he returns at Stuttgart Open in June.

Federer: Wimbledon struck a chord in me

Meanwhile, Federer also revealed he is not playing at Wimbledon for records but for the love of the tournament in London where he won his first Grand Slam title in 2003.

"Wimbledon has been my favourite tournament, as my heroes played and won there: Pete Sampras won Wimbledon seven times, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker, three times each," Federer said.

He added: "Playing on grass is also a unique and incredibly exciting experience, and when I won there for the first time as a junior in 1998, I fell in love with the history of the place, the fans, the green and purple colors of the club—there is so much class at Wimbledon, so much charm and history. It really struck a chord with me.

"I don't play for the records as much as I play because I love stepping foot on the famed Centre Court and challenging myself to try to get better."

Despite losing steam after defending his Australian Open title earlier this year, Federer will be one of the favourites for Wimbledon 2018 title. Notably, he had not dropped a set en route to the top step of the podium at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.