Paris, May 3: Roger Federer returns to clay court tennis for the first time in three years at Madrid next week, admitting it feels like a journey into “no-man’s land”.
The 37-year-old last tested his ability on European dirt at the Rome Masters in 2016, before opting to concentrate on the world’s hard surfaces and grass courts which have yielded the majority of his 101 titles.
But with his career in its twilight, the Swiss has decided to re-enter a realm of tennis for so long dominated by rival Rafael Nadal — and Madrid seems the logical venue.
Federer has won two of his 11 clay titles in the Spanish capital where the high altitude helps him negate the traditionally pedestrian pace of the dusty surface.
“I’m very excited. It’s a good challenge, a good test. Confidence, I don’t know, it’s in no-man’s land. I have to start from scratch,” said Federer after winning his most recent title in Miami. (PTI)