LOS ANGELES: Roger Federer, coming off victories at the Australian Open and ATP events in Miami and Indian Wells, said Saturday he plans to play in next month’s French Open.
After defeating John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) in an exhibition at Seattle, Washington, to benefit his charity foundation, Federer told the Tennis Channel he plans to play at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015.
“I am registered and my intention is to play Roland Garros,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion said in a post-match interview.
The 35-year-old Swiss star, ranked fourth in the world, made a quarter-final exit in the 2015 French Open and missed last year’s event while dealing with knee and back injuries.
His lone title on the red clay in Paris came in 2009 and completed a career Grand Slam. He owns five US and Australian Open crowns and seven Wimbledon titles.
“I feel very privileged to be back on a tennis court,” Federer told the network.
“Last year was extremely difficult, having had surgery and the knee never healing. Then I had back pain too, and it all got too much at Wimbledon and I was out for six months.
“But I was able to spend some incredible time with the family and start preparing for this season and hoping that the work that I put in the off season was going to really pay off.
“I was going to get a second chance to really play tennis again on the professional tour and so when I did come back in Australia was really exciting.”
Federer, whose first three exhibitions for African children’s charities were played in Switzerland, raised almost $2 million and also played a doubles exhibition alongside Microsoft founder Bill Gates, beating Isner and Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready. --AFP