Coming off his first clay event in three years, Roger Federer announced Saturday he’ll play in next week’s Italian Open to prepare for the French Open.
Federer was stopped by fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem 3-6, 7-6 (11), 6-4 on Friday to fall short of the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open.
It was Federer’s first time playing on clay since May of 2016 in Rome. Coincidentally, he lost to Thiem in his final match of that tournament too
“Hello everybody. Just finished speaking to the team and happy to say I’m coming back to Rome to play in Italy,” said Federer in an Instagram video.
Federer has reached the finals of the Italian Open four times, but has never won it. Despite having 20 Grand Slam titles, Federer has only won the French Open once (2009) and hasn’t played it in four years.
Federer will be seeded third at the Italian Open, which begins Wednesday.
—Field Level Media