‘Roger Federer wasn’t expected to play Madrid Open,’ says tournament director

The three-time Madrid Open champion Roger Federer decided to skip this year’s edition of the Masters 1000 event in the Spanish capital and take more time off the court. The Madrid Open tournament director and one of the most experienced players left on the Tour alongside Roger, Feliciano Lopez, said that they didn’t expect Roger to sign and play Madrid, as he was yet to make his mind about playing on clay this spring or not. When Roland Garros moved one further, the grass-court season became even shorter, with only two weeks of pre-Wimbledon events. Federer has set eyes on Halle and Wimbledon, hoping to get back at 100% by the time of his favorite surface. After a lot of thinking, Federer opted to skip Madrid and Rome and enter the Geneva Open and Roland Garros for a short clay swing, using it to gather momentum after such an extended break from tennis.

Feliciano Lopez spoke about Roger Federer’s Madrid Open withdrawal.

The 20-time Major champion had played only one tournament in the previous 15 months, experiencing a severe knee injury at the beginning of the last season and taking a break following the Australian Open semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic. Roger underwent left knee surgeries in February and May, deciding to skip the rest of the year and come back stronger in 2021. In October, the Swiss returned to the practice court, starting all over and trying to build his physical shape and compete at the beginning of the new season.

Despite giving his best, Roger had to skip the Australian Open in February and picked Doha for his long-awaited return. In his first match in over 13 months, Federer defeated Daniel Evans to reach the quarter-final, where he wasted a match point against Nikoloz Basilashvili to hit the exit door. Federer chose to skip Dubai and take more time off the court, withdrawing from Miami, Madrid and Rome and preparing for a comeback at the Geneva Open in a couple of weeks. Federer is still eager to play his best tennis and challenge the rivals from the top for notable titles, setting eyes on Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the US Open in the upcoming months.

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