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Roger Federer’s Outfit for Madrid, Rome and The Matches For Africa 2017

Here is the outfit Roger Federer will be wearing if he decides to play any clay events in 2017 before the French Open. Based on his schedule it looks like Madrid and Rome are off the cards so it is likely we'll only be seeing this outfit worn for the Matches for Africa.

The Swiss wore this kit in Zurich two weeks ago against Murray and it will no doubt be making another appearance inย  Seattle on April 29th. According to the Nike colorway description, the polo is a Hydrangeas/Black/Tart/Tart combo. I thought it looked like a very faint lilac purple type mix when I saw it on in Zurich and I think it's a good colour.

The shoes are again the Vapors in the Fly Knit style which seems to be the flagship RF shoe this year. I'll be posting his French Open outfit soon for Roland Garros + Stuttgart / Halle but for now you can check this one out below:

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What do you think of this kit? Would you still buy it even though he might not wear it officially this season? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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114 thoughts on “Roger Federer’s Outfit for Madrid, Rome and The Matches For Africa 2017”

  1. 1st by chance ๐Ÿ™‚
    Finally Sir Jonathan got my message about the post for clay outfit. I like it a lot and much better with the matching shoes in orange. Good that we can see at least one more time with this outfit.

    1. Been on my to do list, just not got around to it until now!

      I like the shoes too, dunno if I’d buy fly knits to play in though tbh, don’t look that durable.

    1. Nobody around once Fed goes on holiday, fans go into hibernation and normal life resumes. Looks like the blog is on ice until the French Open ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Just saw this! I am not crazy about the big splotches on the front, if my eyes are right.

    Anyone going to the match for Africa 4 in Seattle? If I were in the US now I would go in a heartbeat! Somewhere Federer was quoted as saying there were only 500 seats left.

  3. So boring without Roger, there has been talks Roger might skip RG. I am all for itsince he is aiming for grass and Wimbledon. RG organisers will be begging for him to return to Paris. Monte Carlo has been weird tourney so far. Top seeds out early, Nadal is the last man standing – 10th title is probably his at this rate. Cmon Goffin….

    p/s: Serena is pregnant wow!!!

    1. Yeah tennis is dull, I’ve not watched any of Monte Carlo so far other than brief highlights and the odd shot Tennis TV post to twitter.

      Yeah congrats to Serena and Dimitrov, very happy for them.

  4. Not too bad but not crazy about the orange swoosh and stripe….should be another colour.

    Someone drank orange koolaid and threw up on the t-shirt.

    Seven more sleeps until I see the Maestro!

    1. Yes, Donna I’m going. Might not be much to write about? I’ll have to ask Jonathan’s permission…he’s super picky.

      Just saw the worst line call in the history of tennis. Goffin 3-2 ad Goffin the ball was 15 cm out at least. Nadal wins the point, much booing from the crowd and the Spaniard is in the final. What a joke. Where is hawkeye…oh we don’t need it for clay!

      1. I too was watching…..Cedric at his best. Spoiled the whole match changed the atmophere
        Completely. C!mon Roger hurry back!

      2. Right. Some got very unpopular – ! Was this umpire Cedric paid to do such a thing? Corruption? Well not his first catastrophic mistake? The ball was called out, but he overruled, and took the wrong mark as proof, despite protest. And David lost the game he had rightfully won. And maybe whole match. When will this man get fired?

      3. Some are saying Rafa should have conceded the point because it appeared his shot was OUT and a wrong call was made. Rafa would be 2-4 with Goffin maintaining his momentum. Rafa who covets clay court titles and been stopped from winning any titles so far would concede a point at that moment.

      4. Karen, the call wasn’t wrong, the ball was clearly out, and called so. Umpire Mourier overruled, “proof” to wrong mark on court. Commentators and crowd let this mistake dominate reactions the rest of the match. Goffin lost the match, but won the hearts of the crowd. Rafa won match, money and points, but lost reputation.

      5. Now, the pressure is on. Jonathan, you are so kind. My seat is the upper tier so see how it goes. Four more sleeps!

    1. Actually, I don’t have any idea about the new knit shoes. I think they should be able to last… The Vapors are a solid shoe, overall.

  5. Is it true that he has decided not to play any clay event before FO? If it’s true, does this suggest that he is not that much interested in french? I want him to go for another FO… it would be a dream come true if he does so by beating Nadal. The kind of form he is in, it’s not impossible. With the recent H2H against Rafa, he may get a mental advantage against Rafa even at RG. This will be far more significant than 8th wimby. What do you guys think?

    1. Either he wants Rafa to stay in doubt, or he really is making grass his priority. The fun, love and happiness in performing is his target. And could be thinking win comes from that mainly.

    2. It’s not that Fed is not interested in the French, the surface makes it very grueling. 3 out of 5 set matches on slow clay is not Federer’s “sweet spot.”

      Of course if Fed would actually win the French this year he would have 2 of the first GS . More importantly, a DOUBLE career Grand Slam. But the odds are very high against it and could take away from his chances for another Wimbledon.

    3. Yeah it’s true, no clay before French. Seems like a smart move, especially if his knee felt bad on clay last year, perhaps the moving surface under foot doesn’t help?

      Don’t really understand fans, moan all year about too much clay and how it’s awful, then when he says I’m skipping it up in arms about him not playing it!

      1. Well, I would want Fed to win FO.
        I have no problem with clay. Clay actually is not a long season. Grass season is short, but this is NOT because of clay. It’s because of hard courts. (last portion)
        It would be nice if we had a grass M1000.

      2. “Seems like a smart move, especially if his knee felt bad on clay last year, perhaps the moving surface under foot doesnโ€™t help?”

        Yes, but that was last year when he was still on his way back from surgery. One would hope that the situation is better this year.

      3. One would, but I think we have to work under the assumption Fed is preparing himself for the stretch from Halle to Us Open to involve a LOT of going deep. Clay is a risk for the body even when fit, and it tires out. We all want him to win the French, but the bare reality of it is, if Roger believed he could, then he’d enter it properly. If he doesn’t, which is what it looks like, there’s no way he’d win it even if he entered it.

  6. The way I see it, if he wins one more slam, he would be playing well enough to win at least two Masters 1000. With decent performances at other tournaments, that would him somewhere in the vicinity of 9,500 points before the WTF. I still don’t understand why he doesn’t want to pick up about 700-1000 points before RG.

    The only threat then would be Nadal vulturing the clay stretch and amassing 5000 points or so (leaving RG with about 7000 points). That looks likely the way he is playing and will give him a shot at 11,000 points too.

    Thoughts?

    1. For old age’ wisdom: Happiness (love the things you do – do things out of love) is 1. priority. So tennis should be fun, and ambition the fuel, but not so much as to destroy fun (and health). A heavy second is Win – very much fun to win! So careful about Health. Points are a possible nice bonus, but not the main target.

    2. I suppose a lot depends on Murray and Djokovic? If Federer hadn’t taken those months off to really heal, take a break and train hard again, we might be looking at his retirement.
      If he needs long breaks now, we need to be patient and trust in what he’s doing.

  7. Nastase, Mourier…what else? Not that I care but Tennis is a mess without Fed. Was a happy place for 3 months then.

    1. Mourier has made several serous mistakes during years of umpiring. I wonder how come he still is called to umpiring

  8. I recall reading a remark by Roger years ago, I believe after his first Wimbledon title. He said that if given a choice between his 9th Wimbledon title or his first RG, he would take the 9th Wimbledon. Maybe someone has the exact quote.
    Perhaps he didn’t realize he would win so many Slams ( how could he?) and that he would be considered by many as the GOAT.
    In any event, PLAY ROLAND GARROS, ROGER!!!!

  9. Tennis is a mess! Mourier, Fed Cup! Ppl like Nastase still involved.. Shazza back! Won’t be watching Nadal vulture his 10th at the MC 250 ( why this is still a 1000 is beyond me; how can a non mandatory event still hold that status).

    Seriously at the point of no Fed, no tennis… rant over!
    ps nice outfit!

    1. I’m with you on all points Suzie but what about the dreadful manager of Sharapova, Max Eisenbud criticising journeyman players, who she has to work and play tennis with. Even some male players reacted to him on Twitter The guy should shut up many people are still digesting the watering down of the ban and WC issuing & in a David Law Tennis Podcast poll over 60% of responders want her to lose on her first match in Germany.

      Fed should just play when he feels fit and happy, clay is a circus at present and if Djokovic is falling over & the umpiring pro Nadal do we really need to see him potentially risk the rest of his year to get to number 1 again.?

    2. Haha I saw Eisenbud’s comments. Tbf if you cast aside the doping, he’s not that wrong is he? The ones he mentioned are basically joureymen players. Maybe it’s harsh , but it is true ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Mourier was paid handsomely by the Spanish mafia. Uncle Toni one of the king pins. I believe Nadal knew the ball was out. He always makes very good line calls with hawk eye. (Forget AO 5th set).
    That poor MC trophy with all those teeth marks.

    Amazing all these years MC 1000 and NO grass masters.

    Just imagine the tension in the locker room when Maria arrives. And no Serena or Azaranka. Konta for #1?

    1. Maybe but the opposite baseline is the hardest one to call yourself really, you can often tell when it leaves the racquet but playing I’ve had plenty I thought were in called out, and plenty I thought were sailing long called in. So don’t really blame Nadal.

  11. Whatever took place in MC is so tainted.

    Such a travesty that there is no M1000 on grass.

    Hopefully Roger skips RG because I dont think it will help his cause in 2017. Another 7 weeks of wait is jus fine.

    1. I saw that line call. Cedric couldn’t be more wrong pointing to absolutely the wrong mark. Wow! And what would it have been, Goffin up 4-2?

  12. “โ€œIt really is unbelievable,โ€ said Nadal. โ€œTo win 10 times at such an important event like Monte-Carlo is.” – Nadal

    Really? Such an important tournament that it’s not even mandatory?

  13. The MC trophy was screaming. “Someone help me…Roger where are you when I need you the most”. The screaming was in vain…the teeth marks of ten years are forever scarring. All hope is gone.
    Norman is breathing a sigh of relief once again and praising the tennis gods for his good fortune.

      1. First of all, I think grass season should be longer. (with more tournaments)

        I think Berlin can be a very good location. It’s a big city, and Germany doesn’t have a big tournament.

  14. Just stumbled on your blov when i was searching for some roger federer news.
    Loved your posts and loved the comments as well.
    I used to feel im the only odd guy who feels bored whenever Roger isnt playing.
    Looking at the comments here i can see im not alone in my thoughts.
    Tennis is super boring without Roger.
    Rafa who was truly beaten fair and square when Roger was around is back to his ugly habit of niting the trophies and probing his gluteal crack.
    Tennis is so boring.
    Roger train hard and come back in paris and win the french open.
    Would love to see the faces of some people when Roger triumphs in Paris again.
    I was very lucky to watch the monumental event live in roland garros years ago.
    Many in the crowd were misty eyed and genuinely happy for our tennia god.
    I want to experience that feeling again.
    Roger please play French. Contrary to what tennis experts say ( they are always wrong again and again), if you play at roland garros you will win it.

    And Jonathan loved your blog and ypur passion.
    Wish you were here, i play 5 days a week with different friends. On a semi serious advanced / intermediate level. Mostly to stay in shape and for the passion of ennoying tennis.
    Would love to hit a few balls with you.

    As regards Rogers clay court clothing line up, call me the odd man out, i loved everything.
    Inclueing the black top with the colorful splash on the front.
    Though it might not look super impressive here it would look wow when worn on court.

    Roger federer has some out the best clothing lone ever.

    Some of his outfits are WOW

    always classy and simplistic. Very intwresting. Kudos to the entire team

    Best wishes to all RF fans hwres hoping this super successful year continues to be delightful and super happy for all of us.

    Lots of love and cheers

    Dr S

    1. Thanks for commenting, glad you found the site ๐Ÿ™‚ Where are you from? 5 times a week is good going, I get 1 session a week in usually, sometimes 2 over summer but getting 2 days a week where the weather is good enough isn’t easy!

  15. Sorry about the numerous typos. Migrated recently to android after using iphone for years. Im still getting used to this. Excuse the spells errors and typos

  16. seriously. I need Roger to play one clay court M1000.. for the preparation for RG. think positive guys.. We will see him in RG and lift the trophy.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I was so upset about that line call. Poor Goffin was robbed a match and tournament just like that, right in front of his eyes. Such injustice must be really hard to swallow. I hope he will find a way to bounce back. Mourier should be fired and never allowed to umpire again.

    How one wish this 10th title will be forever tainted but boy, human beings memories are extremely short

    1. Agree, April. And this was just one of CM’s several mistakes during years (or is he just trying evil on Fed and his Friends?). That he’s still allowed to umpire is very strange to me.
      I think it won’t be that easily forgotten. So many Rafa-fans have been very busy to defend RN’s indecent letting this pass without sporty support of David’s point. – (By the way, wasn’t there something about a respectable umpire, Rafa wanted fired a few years ago? – for pointing at Rafa’s violation of serving time I think)
      I hope, throughly honest and decent Goffin will get through quickly without further harm. To be victim for such kind of obvious injustice is no easy challenge to neutralize.

    2. It was a shocking mistake but they happen. Mourier does seem to have a habit of howlers but I don’t see enough of the matches he umpires to know if he’s out and out useless.

      And we are acting like Goffin is some weak 12 year old kid who can’t shake a bad call ๐Ÿ˜† I hope tonight when Roger has tucked him up in bed and he’s watched some Australian Open final highlights he can sleep ok and revise properly for his exams this summer amongst all the tennis.

      1. Haha, Jonathan, but aren’t we (nearly) all small kids when pressed really hard? And when winning a bit unexpected? All great artists have a good connection to the inner kid – sometimes crying by disappointment, or by joy, – but without i.k. no playful creativity possible

    3. Yeah it’s an unfair call and he really got properly killed for it – but come on, Jon is completely right below. It’s insulting to Goffin to think that exactly that one point, in the second set, somehow would have guaranteed him “the match and the tournament” – that’s the kinda convenience we like to skip to simply because we don’t like the fact Nadal won. It’s a horrendous call, but if Goffin getting to deuce at 4-2 in the second set is the match, then he can’t be much of a tennis player to so drastically change his performance.

      1. I disagree. In 2 points. Nobody claims that Goffin would have won the match, if he had got his point justly. But he might have a bigger chance. Now the chance was made smaller, in a MOST UNJUSTLY WAY. I mean, this is much worse than if he had just lost the point.
        I feel you insult Goffin by saying that “he canโ€™t be much of a tennis player to so drastically change his performance”. Saying so, you have not much sense of the pressure in this situation. Tecnique and physicality is half – confidence is other half. To be unjustly treated in a very pressed situation can take the gas out of every ambitious player, especially if he on beforehand is the underdog.

      2. Get your point, Muser. I was referring to “poor Goffin was robbed of a match and tournament” – and robbed clearly implies they both belonged to him at that point. That’s where I digress.

        Re the pressure, I do agree, but it’s happened before on clay, and will happen again. It just so happens this one was a big match vs Nadal. To be honest, I don’t like that it happened. And I 100% get what you’re saying. But I think on here we are guilty of overstating an awful lot of things just because it might put nadal or Djokovic in a bad light. Apologies for my tone earlier.

      3. John, – Well, I read this statement from April โ€œpoor Goffin was robbed of a match and tournamentโ€ as he was robbed the CHANCE of it all…but I see it may be read as you did. IMO everybody of course knows that Goffin didn’t have the match yet, but making so far unexpected well he might have bigger than assumed chance.

      4. TBH, it was a bad call… This is tennis, and even bad calls are part of the game. Why are we even discussing this? I think Goffin wouldn’t have beaten Rafa, even if the call was good.

      5. I’m discussing this because the call was extreme, and because this umpire is making too many of such mistakes. And you Vik, why do you ask?

      6. For me it’s not the question who won, who might or not have won, etc. It’s about fair play for players in tennis, the atmosphere, what is the meaning about playing. Not only to win, – but how to play, win, lose, umpire.

      7. Well, I know it was not fair. We have to live with it, and accept it. Nothing can be always fair.

      8. Muser, thanks for the reply. I actually don’t think he would have won, but I also agree with you that it isn’t the question at hand here’s, and is irrelevant. However, I remember watching Kohlschreiber go through the same thing I remember in New York last year on a break point. As Vik said, it happens so much, which is a bad thing indeed! But, is it truly a coincidence that there’s some outrage on here when nadal was involved for once? Especially the reaction of other posts seemingly blaming him and saying it shows no sportsmanship? That’s the issue I mainly have, that it only gets addressed when someone uses it to spin their own narrative.

        If it’s was so outrageous, the same reaction should apply to every time this happens. And, even if any of us did see it happen elsewhere, we wouldn’t exactly do what we’re doing now.

      9. Vik, I don’t want to accept it. We always have a choice, and my choice is to not accept this. And yes, I blame Rafa as well. I’ve seen sports going against obvious unfairness, and he didn’t.
        John, I don’t hate Rafa, and I don’t love him – but for sure like him. And true, I nevertheless suspect him to cheat sometimes. Others can have other opinion – but this is my choice, and of course I may be wrong, but so far I’m not convinced.

  18. Hello, I am a female Fedfan from France, new on this blog. So, pardon me if you see a few vocabulary inacuracies in my first Fan Story, herebelow commenting about our champion’s Jan-March ’17 glorious months. I hope you will enjoy it.

    The peRFect colorful jewels : 2017 fioretti – Part 1.

    JANUARY : the masterpiece in which we bel18ved.

    Whizzing along like the South African zebra drawn on his shirt, Fedex delivers strokes which are as sharpened as brilliant diamonds.
    As he hovers around the Melbourne playing ground, wings seem to be sewn up on each of his shoulders !
    On January 29, at brunch time in Europe or amidst the pillows in America, we celebrate a 5th AO victory : it is the first star of his 2017 Milk-y (chocolate) Way …

    FEBRUARY : a well-deserved rest.
    Roger, as a vacationer, takes Norman to the mountaintop : the silver tableware shines in the snow next to his “selfish” owner. Over the month, his smile is as sweet as a Swiss treat : the Maestro is still on cloud nine and we celebrate with him !

    MARCH – act I : Indian Wells open

    Solid as an evergreen tree missing in the Californian desert,
    Irradiant wearing his green garment,
    Bright as a kryptonite,
    His hovercraft footwork leads him to one more indisputable triumph.

    MARCH – act II : Miami open

    Green (again !) and bold as a junior crocodile chasing his preys,
    Mobile as an iguana wandering across every corner of the court,
    Bouncing up like a newborn sheep in the heat of Florida,
    his third victory of the quarter leaves tennis addicts (even watchers who are not !) and journalists dumbfounded.

    Look at his radiant face which almost disappears under showers of (Basel carnival ?) confetti.
    Smile as he lifts a new crystal trophy towards the Floridian turquoise sky.
    All of us, his fans, young or older ones, relish. His joy is ours !

    On his first quarter record card, his tennis teacher could have written : “THAT merry senior pupil deserves the jury’s praises. Keep on the good work for the rest of the year !”

    Rejuvenated Fed’s tennis level is as high in the sky as the green polar auroras that can be seen in Iceland this month.

    His fluid game and faultless attitude inspire one of his ยซ office ยป colleagues, John Isner, doubting if the Maestro comes from Planet Earth. Each Fedfan doubts as well ! Aren’t Martians green creatures too ?

    As springtime is approaching, one more Sunshine Double has to be added on his extended rรฉsumรฉ, in golden letters.

    Well, well, well… A diamond, an emerald and a kryptonite are already coated on his finery. Some more to come to adorn the King’s crown with ?
    Don’t worry : training is underway in Dubai ahead of more emotions !

    Hear ye ! Let’s buy our tickets for next matches (wherever they take place), let’s clean up our TV screens and let’s be patient until he comes back to work.

    ==
    Mister Tennis,
    โ€ฆTHANKS to your opponents โ€“ past and future – to make all those shows and deeds possible.
    …THANKS to your team for the love, practice, advice and care they constantly give you.
    …THANK YOU to you, the gentleman-artist for the joy you give us.

    We will never ever underestimate an “old” man !
    And let’s cheer on Fed to soon help him insert new jewels in his finery !

    R … enaissance
    O …oooh la la !
    G …o ! Go ! GOAT !
    E …vergreen
    R …ejuvenation

    F …inery
    E…merald
    D…iamond
    E…motions
    R…oar like a lion ! Yes, sure !
    E…motions (new ones)
    R…oland Garros, pleeeaaase – just bought my ticket for May 28 in Paris… and a fan story should come for Jonathan :-).

    FrenchButteRFly

    PS : More to read later, commenting on a peRFect second quarter record card…

    1. That’s amazing from a non English native speaker! I always admire people who are good with language. It takes incredible talents and skills. I see Jonathan’s blog has attracted many poets and creative writers! Awesome!

  19. I quite like the training tees ๐Ÿ™‚

    Re Goffin and Mourier, he defo screwed up big time, and it changes the entire match. But I also believe at that level you have to have a minimum hold on your nerves. And you can’t blame Nadal for not telling the ball was out. Had it been on his side, maybe, but otherwise Nadal had nothing to do about this.

    1. Ha, I don’t agree Simon! Rafa didn’t challenge, so he probably saw it out too! And throughly honest and decent Goffin’s reactions tell same message to any as intelligent and empathic as Rafa. No sportsmanship award to Rafa, taking this unjust advantage.
      As for your remarks about having a minimum hold on nerves – well Goffin had a minimum, but you cannot blame him on not having sufficient in such a screaming unjustly situation. He’s ambitious, sensitive, and really competent player – no machine cut out to fixed norms!

      1. In all fairness to Nadal, 9/10 times when a chair umpire comes down and checks a mark, he is in fact correct. Now sure, Nadal may have thought the ball was out, but when Mourier called it in (and seemed so sure about it), from Nadal’s point of view you have to be thinking, “Hey who know, maybe it clipped the line”. It definitely wasn’t his fault.

      2. Ah no, Rafa’s fault no, what the umpire mistakes. But his own behavior to that is his own responsibility. And there were lots of signals – Goff’s reactions, crowd’s reactions, Mourier’s history, more than ENOUGH to seriously doubt the umpire’s decision, and at least speak up.

      3. I think Fed would do exact same thing in that spot tbh. It was just poor stuff from Mourier who has a track record of not seeing the ball very well.

      4. I don’t know of any player who would say that the ball is out when it happens on the other side.
        Mourier screwed up, Nadal did what any other player would do, and Gofffin lost his nerve (with reason I’ll add, I’m just saying that the best of the best generally stay in the match or use as fuel to get fired up). And I’m no Nadal fan, and Like Goffin quite a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. you can’t fault him for players in the draw not making it? He had a tough draw this time around, and all the seeds dropped like flies, not exactly his fault?

      1. I think that is what the write is focusing on…that why 5 times, and why on clay?

      2. Why 5 times? Probably because it is on clay, and a large proportion of the top 10 (specially back in 05-10) still had games that would either suit clay or hard – in other words, because a lot of top 10 players in that time (a) didn’t enter Monte Carlo, Nadal’s best tournament, and (b) weren’t that good on clay.

  20. GOAT i think is now eyeing the french open however without match practice on clay will be quite difficult with Nadal in supreme form but mind you Federer wasnt present in Monte Carlo would the result been different we would never know.

  21. Does anybody follow Barcelona a bit? Just to watch SBH’s as a poor distraction as long our Fed isn’t available. ALMAGRO is a very rare player? Spanish SBH. Good movement and SWIFT style whenever win or lose. AND – I have never seen him fist pumping. Very serene and grounded. He loses too much (just did it to Sasha) ๐Ÿ™ But I have become nearly a half fan of this pleasant player Almagro

    1. Only Spanish player I like is Feliciano Lopez. Classic playing style, and a very fun to watch single handed backhand.

      1. I don’t like his game, but I do have boundless respect for David Ferrer and the way he has made use of his limitations.

      2. Oops! Sorry, wa responding to Sid with Spanish players in general! I agree Feli is the SBH man.

  22. I see the clay court season is upon us, when for the best part of three months the tennis is unwatchable. Clay now demonstrates little other than the dramatic benefits of EPO’s. Roger should screw the entire clay court season, including the French Open. It would send a message that the clay court calendar is effectively the “off season” for the best player in the history of the game, and the game we love resumes on the beauty that is grass.

    1. Federer is not that petty. If doesn’t return until grass, it will be because he is physically unable after practicing on clay before he makes his decision whether or not to play the FO.

      1. It seems at the moment that he will. I take it as his training is encouraging his spirit

      2. If the clay season mattered to Roger he would be playing now. He may consider the risk of injury isn’t worth it – and it isn’t. I estimate his chances of beating a doped-to-the-gills Spaniard at the French are very slim – particularly without prior match-play on the surface. At this rate it looks as though no one can deprive Nadal of his 10th French title, and I would include Roger in that equation – improved backhand and injury-free notwithstanding. The surface simply does not reward his style of game against the Spanish backboard. Only a gluten-free Djokovic would stand any chance – and he has apparently forgotten how he used to play.

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