On the comeback trail after being out of action for eight weeks in the clay court season, Roger Federer returned to Stuttgart, on grass, last week. But the return to action didn’t go as planned with the Swiss player losing in three sets to fellow veteran Tommy Haas. Now his focus shifts to Garry Webber Open in Halle in the tune up to Wimbledon. Federer has won in Halle eight times and opens his quest for a ninth against Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun.
“A comeback is never simple, especially on grass where margins are so slim. It’s important for me, especially after the Stuttgart week, to come here and make sure I win my first-round match and get going … The history I have here, having come and played well so often, definitely should help me to play good tennis this week. I want to take the right decisions on the tennis court. I don’t want to question myself too much. I’ll have the right focus and mindset, that point-by-point mentality,” he said on ATP’s official website.
Federer missed the French Open for the second straight year and the entire clay court season for the first time since turning pro in 1998. He said it was a one-off decision and something that was taken in a few days to avoid compromising the rest of the season. “It was a decision that was taken within a couple of days,” Federer added. “For a long time the schedule was to play Paris but all of a sudden I just felt that I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it.”
“I didn’t want to compromise the goal of the grasscourt season, Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and beyond … But it’s not a trend that I might follow in the future. I don’t know what the future holds. This was just a one-off decision,” he said.
Prior to the clay court season, Federer won the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami Open for a spectacular start to the season from knee surgery last year.