Roger Federer will make his return after a 10-week break at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart with his first match set to be played on Wednesday (14 June).
The Swiss ace spent the last six months of the 2016 season on the sidelines with a knee injury before returning to action in January this year. Federer has played four tournaments thus far winning three titles including his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
Federer was expected to carry his form into the clay court swing of the season, but the 35-year-old decided to skip all the clay court events in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome and later decided that he will also skip the French Open – the first time he has missed the entire clay court swing since turning pro in 1998. He cited fitness as one of the key reasons for skipping the second Grand Slam of the year while also stating that his main focus was on the upcoming grass and hard court events, mainly Wimbledon and the US Open.
Boris Becker backed Federer's decision to skip the French Open and has installed him as the favourite to win his eighth title at Wimbledon this year. Federer will play two events in Stuttgart and Halle in preparation for his match at SW17 and the former's tournament director Edwin Weindorfer confirmed his participation while encouraging supporters to buy tickets for his first round clash on 14 June.
"There are still tickets available for his first match on Wednesday but there are only a few left for the final weekend," Weindorfer said, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
Federer is currently back in his hometown of Basel and was spotted watching his home town club FC Basel's final league game of the season against St Gallen, which they won 4-1. The Swiss maestro is expected to depart for Stuttgart next week to begin preparations for the grass court season.