Roger Federer, who is regarded as the most decorated male player in Open-era tennis, is set to take a two-month break from the sport and will return in time to compete at the French Open. Federer has been in exceptional form since he returned from injury at the start of 2017.
The 35-year-old shocked everyone when he won the 2017 Australian Open at the start of the year and went on to win the Indian Wells and the Miami Open. As a result of those title wins, Federer has climbed up to fourth in the ATP rankings and if he continues this form he could end 2017 as the World No.1.
While age is clearly not on Federer's side at the moment, the Swiss is set to miss a number of clay court tournaments, including Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome as he looks to give his body the rest it requires before he tries to win his second French Open title.
"I'm not 24 anymore so things have changed in a big way and I probably won't play any clay court event except the French. That is what it is going to look like, I need rest, my body needs healing, I need time as well to prepare, you will probably see me at the French again," ESPN quoted Federer as saying.
"I want to stay healthy and enjoy myself. Because when I am healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this, when I am not feeling this good there is no chance I will be in the finals competing with Rafa.
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"That is why this break coming now in the clay court season and focusing everything now on the French, the grass and then the hard courts after that is going to be the key for me."
Federer had said that playing in the clay court might cause a few problems to the knee he had surgery on last year and he wanted to be ready for Wimbledon stating that all the tournaments during the second half of the season were really important to him.
"Part of the situation was that my knee was really strange on the clay last year, so maybe being away from the clay as much as possible is maybe is a good thing as well, even though I don't think it was because of the clay as such," Federer said.
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"Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal now, in the near future, the American hard courts I guess as well. The French Open I guess, to some extent, we will see what happens, no pressure there really. But all of the grass is important to me. For me, basically, the second half of the season is the big priority which is why I am taking this break now."