Roger Federer

Federer Announces His 2013 Schedule

I've called Roger the GOAT scheduler many times and 2013 will be no different as Roger has announced another cleverly planned year which should ensure, barring injury, he's fresh right through to the year end championships in London.

The big news is Roger won't be playing Miami or Basel and he's also missing Doha at the start of the year.

Roger Federer’s 2013 Schedule:

  • Australian Open, Melbourne
  • ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournamen, Rotterdam
  • Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Dubai
  • BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells
  • Mutua Madrid Open, Madrid
  • Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome
  • Roland Garros, Paris
  • Gerry Weber Open, Halle
  • Wimbledon
  • Rogers Cup, Montreal
  • Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati
  • US Open, New York
  • Shanghai Rolex Masters, Shanghai
  • BNP Masters , Paris

No Doha = 4 Week Training Camp

In my post after Roger's loss in London I said it was rumoured he wouldn't play in Doha, that's now confirmed and I think it's a very wise choice allowing Roger to practise hard before the Australian Open starts.

Federer Training in Dubai

After he plays the Exhibitions in Brazil he will have a Christmas break and then has a 4 week training camp which I assume will be in Dubai. He can then head out to Australia fresh and practice on Rod Laver Arena before the tournament starts.

He's stated in several recent press conferences that he's lacking practise as his 2012 season was filled with so many matches. I think this decision is perfect as it allows him to get the practise he wants and needs to fine tune his game. Annacone will surely have a list of things he wants to work on that he's picked up on post Wimbledon where practise time has been in short supply.

Slowami No Longer on the Schedule

Slowami Sand Paper Courts

A big surprise is that Roger has elected to skip the Purple Clay Court event also know as the Miami Masters 1000 tournament. It's obviously a big tournament with a lot of ranking points at stake but the way I see it this is more GOAT scheduling. Roger will struggle to win on that court and over the past 2/3 season it's always set the tone for the grinder battles to come between Djokovic, Murray and Nadal.

I guess another point worth noting is that Miami is an IMG event, who Roger parted company with last year. IMG are also scuppering the attempts of the Indian Wells tournament to offer more prize money with a different distribution amongst early round losers. Roger is of course very much for a shift in more prize money going to early round losers so maybe that played a part. That's purely speculation though.

We all know the Miami court is practically sandpaper and plays like a clay court, making the game 10 times more physical than it should be on a hard court; so by playing Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells; Roger can skip Miami and take 6 weeks off to prep for the clay court season. He'll then head into Madrid and Rome fresh for hopefully a good run at the French Open.

Bye Bye Basel

Bye Bye Basel

The final surprise on the Federer calendar is that Basel, his hometown tournament isn't there. There's still a chance he will play it should negotiations work out with the tournament owner Roger Brennwald but as of right now he won't be playing it.

I'm not sure whether it's purely scheduling reasons now the ATP calendar has changed; playing Shanghai and Basel means he plays for 3 straight weeks before Paris and the World Tour Finals or to do with Roger and Basel owner Brennwald having a disgreement.

The story goes that Roger has been playing Basel for 500,000 per year between 2009-12, a much lower figure compared to what other players get. From what I gather Federer wanted to buy Basel but Brennwald declined, Godsick then tried to neogtiate a different appearance fee and Brennwald declined that too. He then leaked certain details of the negotiations to the media and tried to use public pressure to portray Federer as a greedy and force him play at a lower rate.

Rather than react Federer just kept quiet and apparently negotiations were ongoing throughout the World Tour Finals. Whatever happened it's clear a resolution wasn't reached so Roger simply pulled out from the tournament.

I've read around various forums, articles that Brennwald is an arrogant and stubborn guy so is unlikely to back down. We'll no doubt have Murray playing Basel next year for a high amount of cash and then pulling out the day before the tournament starts. Roger has pretty much made Basel the tournament it is and clearly accounts for a high percentage of it's overall revenue so to not have him there not only disappoints the Basel fans but also impacts on the tournaments appeal worldwide.

Roger = The GOAT Scheduler

Overall I'm extremely happy with Roger's schedule, it gives him plenty of rest and plenty time to practise ahead of the 4 Grand Slams. It's all about the slams now for Roger and everything else has to be secondary and this schedule allows just that.

Scheduling has definitely played a part in his longevity, he always tends to make the right choices and it looks like that's happened yet again in 2013. I have high hopes for next season, as does Roger so staying fresh and healthy is a must for those to be realised.

Are you guys happy with Roger's schedule? Should he still play Basel?

Photo Credit: DafneCholet, Chascow


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. He’s always been great at knowing when it’s right to play and when he needs time off, so I’m happy with the schedule. Wise move not to play Doha at the beginning of the season, because I think practice is what he needs most, and he knows what’s best for his play. I’m very surprised at the decision not to play Basel, but after reading about the situation above it makes sense. He’ll be a massive loss to that tournament- it will really struggle without him. He’s definitely made the right decision about Miami too- when it came to that point earlier this season he had already played a lot of tennis so it’s sensible.

    1. Yeah he’s truly the GOAT scheduler.

      I like Basel, definitely a nice venue and fun to watch but if things can’t be sorted out then guess it has to stay that way.

  2. I like this schedule a lot, in fact!
    If we’re talking about strictly for 2013, its smart to skip Miami because he did poorly last year as in he only got like 90 points I believe since he was eliminated by Roddick in the second round or something. Virtually no harm done here ranking-points wise.
    And logically, it doesn’t make sense to play 3 weeks in a row before the World Tour Finals. I mean I know Basel is his hometown and he wants to “give back” in a way but from the “business point of view”, it’d be smarter skip a 500 and play in an event which is more “significant”, as in a Master Series Event.

    1. Me too man. I think it’s very well planned.

      Yeah I agree, I really like Basel, almost signifies the start of winter to me but if it means he doesn’t get enough rest time, and the owner of the tournament isn’t exactly getting along with him then I think it’s the right move.

  3. Nice schedule! I am a little dissapointed that Roger won’t be playing as much but like you said, it’s all about the Majors! The #1 ranking is secondary(ie: he’s not playing a boatload of tournaments) and I can see Roger reap a lot of titles since he’ll be well rested! And on the plus side, if he goes out early in Indian Wells, he could go to Miami to gain points back! I think it’s wise he isn’t going to MC since Nadal owns that place(only go if Rafa isn’t there!) Overall, very pleased and it is a balanced schedule for a 31/32 year old GOAT!

    It still amazes me that Roger skipped 1/3 of the Masters and still fought tooth and nail for the #1 ranking!

    1. Yeah he plays it smart as usual.

      Monte Carlo is my least favourite tournament of the year to watch on TV. I’d like to check it out live but only for the surrounding area.

  4. Thats only 14 tournaments as oppose to his 21 this year…won’t he lose a heap of points? I’d love him to be no.1 again which would also help his draw when it comes to tournaments too

  5. Hi Jonathan! I been following your blog for couple of years and just love it – love your write up, love your enthusiasm. I think its all about the majors now for Roger so his scheduling is spot on. Only thing is he would have to keep at no. 1 or 2 to get better draws at the majors. But if he rests well and have regular trainings, he should be winning more which means his ranking points would not suffer. Off topic – I’ve been trying to resolve this issue about Roger sitting on Djoko’s seat at final of WTF. According to the videos I’d seen, the seat that Roger took had towel with Djoko’s name on it. Later when Djoko was approaching his chair, it also had a towel with Djoko’s name on it. Strange. There could, therefore, be 2 explanations : 1) the organisers draped towels with Djoko’s name on both seats, 2) Roger removed the towels on the seat that was supposed to be for Djoko and put the towels on the other seat, (don’t think Roger would do such a lowly thing though) Did anyone attend the final live at O2 who can shed some light on this? As it is, people are coming up with all sorts of damaging opinions of how Roger can’t let go his no. 1 and disrespecting Djoko.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the commenting!

      As long as Fed stays in the top 4, which I can’t see him not doing then I think he’ll be fine. He might need a helping draw to win a slam but they can, and do happen.

      That towel thing is just all blown out of proportion. I don’t think there are any explanations as there’s nothing to explain. I think an article caused it and then a few Djoker fans caught wind of it and started saying Roger disrespected Novak. Clearly not the case, and need I remind them of this – From what I know there’s no rules to say where a player sits.

      Water off a ducks back I think for Roger and like Novak cares. Won’t be talked about as soon as the 2013 season starts.

      1. I find it funny how some novak fans are getting all mad because of a stupid chris chace article, who is basically a known fed hater. I had never heard of such a rule before and I highly doubt it even excist. If it really is a tradition federer has broken it tons of times so why would they make a big deal of it now. Fed also sat on the left in the WTF 2010 against nadal (the higher ranked player). At this years wimby fed during his match with murray fed was sitting at the right, the same as he was against ferrer in the masters cup at 07. It is basically people just looking to bring fed down, but unfortunately for them that will never happen. The press esp. british press has continuously misquoted fed or taking things out of context just to put him in bad light, and yet his popularity remains undimished.

      2. Well said Sandra!

        Journalism is dead anyway these days. It’s all about writing a killer headline and very little work goes into the actual bulk of the article. Misquoting is rife and it’s just a numbers game. Most online papers need ad impressions to survive so just pump as much trash as possible. Sadly in a lot of cases the public want it, and fall for it.

  6. There is something else. There are 3 ATP 1000 titles missing in his collection. He is playing 2 of those, Rome and Shangai and wisely skipping MC. If he wins Rome in 2013 will probably skip it in 2014 and play MC.

    1. He won Shanghai when it was played indoors at Madrid.So did Rafa.So the only two masters missing for Federer are Rome and Monte Carlo and he was agonisingly close to winning Rome in 2006(had two championship points)

      1. Yeah I guess you can class the old Madrid as the now Shanghai. Be good if he could win Shanghai though in the right city. MC is non mandatory so I don’t really care.

  7. I think that this is a really well thought through schedule from Roger and his team. I think it’s a good idea, as you said, leaving out Miami and instead playing two quicker ATP 500 tournaments beforehand in Rotterdam and Dubai where he has a huge chance of defending his titles. It also gives him a good break before the clay season to prepare, as you have said already. I think he should definitely play in both US masters after Wimbledon due to the quicker court surfaces. He could do well there and it’s good preparation going into the US Open. I felt after Wimbledon that Roger became a bit sluggish. This is probably due to all of the matches he played with the Olympics but that won’t be the case next year and hopefully he’ll have a better run at the US Open and a shot at the title in 2013.
    Also, I think dropping Basel and playing Paris and WTF back to back is a good idea. Not many of the top players play well in Paris and he has a huge chance at regaining his title there and it is worth a lot more points then Basel if he wins it. The only thing I’m a bit unsure about is maybe the lack of one or two competitive matches going into the Australian Open, I think it’s the right decision not to go to Doha but maybe even playing in Brisbane to get some matches under his belt and maybe even a title. The other option is of course to come in very very fresh having trained really hard in the off season and maybe play his way into the tournament with the early few rounds. I have a feeling he could do quite well in the Australian actually and he is most definitely a contender for the title.

    1. Yeah I think the Olmypics screwed everything up this year. The match against Del Potro was way too taxing.

      I think Roger will play himself into form at the AO, Doha has hardly helped him past 2 years so I can’t imagine skipping it this year makes too big a deal. He’s lacking practise and I think he can get some confidence from that.

      Only thing I don’t like about Aus is the fact Djokovic is practically unbeatable there, would need a JesusFed like performance to see him off there. Or the courts to be faster than usual which I doubt will happen.

      1. The problems for Federer seemed to start at Wimbledon strangely enough, clear back issues when he had to call the trainer on to court (something I don’t think I’ve actually seen before from Fed), and then wore a top under his playing shirt for the remaining rounds to keep his back warm, clearly concerned about it becoming a critical injury. The brutal match against Delpo at the Olympics probably caused this to flare up (and thus why he withdrew from Toronto before he even got to that Gold medal match with Murray).

        I must admit it was painful, as a Federer fan, watching him lose in straight sets to Murray in an Olympic final (on my birthday) with a family and other attachments cheering everytime Federer was a step too slow to a ball. Murray played well, but anyone that believes the result was a product of just Murray’s playing ability and not Federer’s exhaustion can’t know much about tennis.

        I saw evidence of back problems at Basel and the WTF this year with his low first serve percentage consistently hanging around the 50% mark, as opposed to last year when it was around 67/68/69%+. Hopefully the rest over Christmas and the revised schedule will give him the chance to play at 110% again, it’s certainly a very well thought out schedule.

      2. You reckon? I think the back issue wasn’t too bad, just the cold air causing some pain. He played flawlessly after that…

        The Del Po match was the one I think drained him, not so much with an injury but emotionally and physically.

        He did serve poorly in Basel/Shanghai so maybe you’re righy about the niggle. Some say it was the hip too.

        I think he will have plenty of rest before AO and the Exhos will be a stroll.

  8. After AO in January till Masters in Rome, Federer has to defend every title he will play: 2 Masters, and two 500s; a sum of 3000 points. I’m sure he cannot defend Madrid next year, since it is going to be a red clay court. He can’t get too many points till FO, since it would be Clay (where our most famous boring champions grind for every point and go nuts for the titles). After the clay season, there will be a pressure on Federer to defend Wimbledon and then Cinci. I think, from now on, we will have to expect Federer to keep winning Majors rather than reclaiming No.1 rank unless Federer shows a lot of interest to regain No.1. But for me, the schedule looks like designed to claim big prizes alone.

      1. Plus he beat the King of Clay here on 2009 so why not?This is Rafa’s least favourite clay court masters(only won it 1 out of 4 times).

  9. It is a very wise schedule for Fed. He doesn’t need to play Doha and as you point out Jonathan, the extra practice time will really do him well. The South American exhos will keep him in match shape so those are basically his warm-up matches before the AO, even if they do take place a month before.

    Roger can definitely win Rotterdam and Dubai again, but I’m betting he really has his sights set on winning the AO. I don’t think Djokovic is unbeatable there – I think if Fed beat Rafa in January he would have beaten Nole in the final since RF would have worn out a tired Nole with his attacking and opportune play.

    It’s obvious that the #1 is not a goal any more, and winning the majors is his big goal, which is great in my view. Taking off Miami will give him more practice/rest time after a long stretch to start the season and it seems to me like he’s really focused on winning Wimbledon again, given that he’s taking off Monte Carlo once more.

    My dream is for Fed to start the year 23-0 with titles at the AO, Rotterdam, Dubai, and Indian Wells, haha. Well, one can dream, can’t he?

    1. Ah come on man, there’s no way Fed would have beaten Djoker at the Australian Open this year. Djoker played a marathon match with Murray then played 6 hours against Nadal, no way Roger was wearing Nadal out. He beat Fed easy in 2011 too. AO is perfectly suited to the Djoker game, I think he’s almost unbeatable in Melbourne.

      1. I don’t know. Novak was pretty gassed at times in that final vs Rafa and probably should have lost if Rafa hit that BH at 4-3 30-15 in the 5th set. Roger wouldn’t have let Djokovic gain his energy back like Rafa did. Nadal basically went into a defensive shell when he had Djokovic on the ropes.

  10. I prefer federer dont play in canada or cincinatti,and play in miami

    because canada and cinci plays in continued and seven days after,he plays the us open

    but is federer and only he now

    1. Not for me. Rogers Cup and Cincy are great tune ups for the US Open. Cincy is also a quick court so it presents the opportunity to win another 1000 tournament. Miami is far more of a physical court. Right choice to skip I think.

      1. Hey Jonathan,

        I guess Fed knows best when he and his team schedule. Obviously he cannot schedule like a 25 year old and thus has to prioritise on the Slams.

        Great for me that he is playing Dubai. Watching Fed play at Dubai is awesome and the crowd is mindblowing. Fed signs practically for everyone. Time taken for this is almost a decent 6-2 set.

        Waiting for AO. No predicitions as I screwed up at ATP Finals, though a few points could have made me right.


      2. Hey Murli,

        Are you going to Dubai again this year? I like the tournament, fast courts always produce the best matches.

        Australian seems like a long wait but once Christmas is over and done with then I think it will come around pretty fast.


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