Andy Murray's former coach Mark Petchey believes Roger Federer could take part in the French Open in May but the decision will depend on whether participation in the event would hamper his chances at Wimbledon.
Federer skipped the entire clay court swing of the season last year following a blistering start 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 2017 was his ability to manage his fitness, which came with playing fewer games and choosing his tournaments diligently. And having started this year in a similar fashion, he could be willing to replicate his schedule from last year to reap the same results.
Rafael Nadal went on to win the French Open in 2017 and has already been deemed the favourite going into this year's tournament, in a bid to win his 11th Roland Garros title. However, despite the odds, Petchey believes that Federer may be willing to lower his guard and compete to win only his second French Open title since 2009.
"I think it is a difficult choice for him. He respects the sport so much that actually, he would love to play. There were a couple of things he said last year which I think were pretty pertinent and revealing," Petchey said as quoted by the Express.
"One was don't think I have given up on the world No 1 ranking and he has obviously achieved that now. Second was don't think I won't be back at the French. I think there is a part of him that would love to but if he thinks it is going to hamper his potential to win at Wimbledon then I think he will give it a miss.
"Right now when you watch him play he has got to be the favourite at Wimbledon and the US Open. His best is better than everyone else out there right now until the others come back from their injuries and get themselves back to match fitness.
"It is going to be an interesting time. He has achieved so much in the last eighteen months and you look at what he has just done now to keep it rolling."