Former British Tennis star Tim Henman believes that Roger Federer will not compete in the clay courts next year as it would prove too much for his body which managed to hold together this year as he stuck to grass and the hard courts.
The Swiss ace skipped the entire clay court swing of the season 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.
The 36-year-old accumulated a total of seven ATP titles in the year and is well on course for his eighth, having made his way to the semi-finals of the ATP World Finals with a win in straight sets over Marin Cilic. It was a dead rubber for the 19-time Grand Slam winner as he had already made his way into the knockouts after the second game.
Federer's biggest takeaway from 2017 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, which he hopes to rectify next season.
Henman is not confident that it is the route to take for the Swissman, who can replicate his success next year by sticking to the same schedule. He is doubtful if Federer will be available for the French Open, a tournament he has won only once.
"It was interesting to hear him say early in the week that he felt this was a unique year with how little he's actually played, yet still winning two Grand Slams and three Masters 1000 events," Henman said, as quoted by the Express.
"He's talking about playing more tournaments next year because even he can't believe he will be so serene and successful in 2018. It will be interesting to see how he manages that. Will he play the clay court season? It's doubtful. Having won the French Open he can afford to (miss) that."