Roger Federer Has Second Thoughts on Skipping Clay-Court Season

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Roger Federer isn’t guaranteeing anything, but there’s a chance he might play in one clay-court tournament before Roland Garros. In a recent interview as he prepares for the Australian Open, the no.3 ranked Federer said his availability for one of several French Open warm-up tournaments will depend on his condition and results after Indian Wells.

Federer, who is gunning for his fifth Australian Open champion and 18th Grand Slam hardware, has already narrowed down the number of tournaments he’ll play in for the 2016 season to 16, skipping major clay-court tourneys like the Monte Carlo and Madrid Masters.

However, the Swiss hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing in a tournament, looking to acclimatize himself on the red clay before the French Open.

“I did not want to disappoint my fans, If I play it will be a surprise for them. I will decide after Indian Wells, depending also on the results I will get until that tournament,” said Federer via Tennis World USA.

Aside from his plans for this year, Federer also raised his concern about the current prize money both in the ATP and the Challenger tour.

“I know that sometimes the difference between the winner and the first round loser is big, but the Tour is committing a lot. I would like to see that also on the Challenger tour the prize money increases. I know it’s hard, they work hard, it’s difficult to find a sponsor but prize money has increased a lot in the last years,” Federer stressed.

The 34-yer old Federer is scheduled to face Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the first round. The 2016 Australian Open will start on January 18 and end with the men’s final on January 30.

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