Andy Roddick reckons Roger Federer may not make the return to tennis until the grass court season.
His agent Tony Godsick hinted at a return in late February (BBC), but Roddick has questioned when the 39-year-old will next be seen in competitive action.
“If it’s not Australia then when is it?”, Roddick said on the Tennis Channel.
“Is he gonna jump back in on the clay and risk a knee slip, sliding around for a couple of months?
“Does ‘not Australia’ mean we’re looking at him on grass at a tournament that he actually thinks he’s gonna win?
“Is he gonna play a French Open where he’s not one of the six, eight favourites on that surface?
“Or is he gonna wait a bit longer and play a home game on a surface that he likes?”
Where will Roger Federer make his return?
Only Roger Federer and his team will know exactly when he plans to return to the court – and whether he will take part in the clay court swing.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has only competed in one of the last five French Open’s – although that was in 2019, the last time the Paris event was held in its usual May slot.
Federer also played at the Masters events in Madrid and Rome that year, so a similar clay calendar isn’t totally unlikely this time around.
His most likely return route would be starting out at one of the indoor European events in March – probably Rotterdam – before heading to Dubai where he is an eight-time winner.
Miami – where Federer has won two of the past three events – is on the following week before the clay court season gets underway.
If fit, Federer will play Halle and Wimbledon on the grass, so time will tell whether he feels the clay court season is worth it.
Federer would be seen as a real outsider to win Roland Garros – firmly behind the likes of of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem – so he may feel he’s best preparing for another shot at Wimbledon.
But with Federer you never really know what’s next.
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