|Australian Open 2019|
|Venue:Melbourne ParkDates:14-27 January|
|Coverage:Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online.|
Roger Federer says he plans to play the clay-court season after skipping it for two successive years, admitting he has “missed not doing it”.
The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played a clay tournamentsince the 2016 Italian Open.
Federer, 37, was beaten by eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in his last appearance at the French Open in 2015.
“I’m in a phase where I want to have fun,” Federer said after his Australian Openexit to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“It’s a bit of a desire. I don’t feel it is necessary to have a big break again.”
Federer has opted to miss the past two clay seasons since struggling with injury throughout 2016.
He withdrew from Roland Garros that year due to a back injury and ultimately cut short his season with a knee problem.
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After winning titles in Australia and Miami on his return in 2017, Federer said he planned to only play the French Open ashe was “not 24 any more”.
He ultimatelydecided not to compete in Parisand focused on grass-court events, going on to win that year’s Wimbledon.
Federer, seeded third in Melbourne, will drop to either sixth or seventh in the rankings following the Australian Open.
Tsitsipas upsets the odds
Greek 14th seed Tsitsipas ended Federer’s title defence in Melbourne with a four-set victory.
Tsitspas, 20, admitted he had watched videos of Federer and had attempted tomimic his one-handed backhand.
Asked if he saw any similarities between the two players, Federer said: “He has a one-handed backhand and I used to have long hair, too.
“Maybe a little bit, sure. He has more of a continental grip than players nowadays.
“That’s a bit more my way than, let’s say, Rafa [Nadal]. I see him definitely being high up in the game for a long time.”
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