Claudio Mezzadri has revealed that Roger Federer intends to be a part of the clay court season in 2018 after missing the entire circuit this year to preserve his fitness for hard and grass courts, which are his speciality.
The Swiss ace skipped clay this year following a blistering start to the season that saw him win three of the four events he entered. He went on to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2017, his best return in a year since 2012.
Federer's biggest takeaway from the year was his ability to manage his fitness, which came with playing fewer games and choosing his tournaments intelligently. However, he has revealed that he regrets missing out on the majority of the clay tournaments and Mezzadri has confirmed that he hopes to rectify that when the ATP season begins next year.
Federer had a disappointing end to the 2017 campaign, losing the ATP World Tour semi-finals to David Goffin after losing out the world number one ranking to Rafael Nadal. It was a near miss for the 19-time Grand Slam winner, who holds the record for the most weeks at No 1 with 302 but has not peaked the rankings since 2012.
Nadal sealed the top spot by reaching the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters before eventually retiring with a knee problem. The run was enough to keep him atop the tables, despite pulling out of the ATP World Finals with an injury after a defeat to Goffin.
Federer has already spoken about his desire to be top but understands that pursuing this goal will hamper his performance in the long run. Mezzadri expects Federer to be back in for the clay court circuit in the coming year and has backed him to stick around for a few more years.
When asked if Federer will be around in the clay courts, Mezzadri told Italian outlet SportFace, as quoted by the Express: "He said he intends to play the clay-court season in 2018.
Federer is doing really well, I met him several times in Basel for lunch. He is a happy man, he is managing his career in the best way and will play for a few more years."