Roger Federer plans to play clay-court season after Australian Open exit

Roger Federer
Roger Federer last played at the French Open in 2015

Roger Federer says he plans to play the clay-court season after skipping it for two successive years, admitting he has "missed not doing it".

The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played a clay tournament since the 2016 Italian Open.

Federer, 37, was beaten by eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in his last appearance at the French Open in 2015.

"I'm in a phase where I want to have fun," Federer said after his Australian Open exit to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

"It's a bit of a desire. I don't feel it is necessary to have a big break again."

Federer has opted to miss the past two clay seasons since struggling with injury throughout 2016.

He withdrew from Roland Garros that year because of a back injury and ultimately cut short his season with a knee problem.

After winning titles in Australia and Miami on his return in 2017, Federer said he planned to only play the French Open as he was "not 24 any more".

He ultimately decided not to compete in Paris and focused on grass-court events, going on to win that year's Wimbledon.

Federer, seeded third in Melbourne, will drop to either sixth or seventh in the rankings following the Australian Open.

Tsitsipas upsets the odds

Greek 14th seed Tsitsipas ended Federer's title defence in Melbourne with a four-set victory.

Tsitspas, 20, admitted he had watched videos of Federer and had attempted to mimic his one-handed backhand.

Asked if he saw any similarities between the two players, Federer said: "He has a one-handed backhand and I used to have long hair, too.

"Maybe a little bit, sure. He has more of a continental grip than players nowadays.

"That's a bit more my way than, let's say, Rafa [Nadal]. I see him definitely being high up in the game for a long time."

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