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Federer confirms return to Madrid Masters in 2019

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 20 Feb 2019
  • Roger Federer confirmed to play the Madrid Masters in 2019
  • The Mutua Madrid Open will be Federer's first clay-court tournament since the 2016 Rome Masters
Roger Federer last played the Madrid Masters in 2015 (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Roger Federer to play the Madrid Masters in 2019.

It has been confirmed that Roger Federer will be competing at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Open in May for the first time in four years.

Federer last played at the Madrid Masters in 2015, when he lost his opening match to Nick Kyrgios.

In recent years Federer has skipped the clay-court season entirely, preferring to manage his schedule carefully and focus on the grass-court tournaments, especially Wimbledon, in the wake of knee surgery and a six-month absence from the game in 2016.

This scheduling was rewarded when Federer won the Australian Open in 2017 and 2018 and Wimbledon in 2017, bringing his total of Grand Slam titles to 20.

This was taken as a signal of impending retirement by some, although Federer emphasized that for him it was more about keeping his schedule fresh and interesting.

On Wednesday, the Mutua Madrid Open confirmed that it will be the site of Federer’s return to clay when the tournament begins on 5 May 2019.

The second of three Masters 1000 Series events played on clay in the run-up to the French Open, the Madrid Masters takes place at the venue known as the ‘Magic Box’ or Caja Magica, which will also be the site of the Davis Cup Finals in 2019, and is combined with a WTA Premier Mandatory event.

‘Federer is one of the best players of all time, it’s no secret,’ tournament director Feliciano Lopez said. 

‘We are happy because his return to Madrid is a gift to the tournament, but above all the fans will be able to see a unique player in the Caja Mágica. Having the Swiss player back on clay with Djokovic and Nadal is going to be unmissable.’

Previous Madrid Masters champions

2002Andre AgassiJiri Novak
2003Juan Carlos FerreroNicolas Massu
2004Marat SafinDavid Nalbandian
2005Rafael NadalIvan Ljubicic
2006Roger FedererFernando Gonzalez
2007David NalbandianRoger Federer
2008Andy MurrayGilles Simon
2009Roger Federer (2)Rafael Nadal
2010Rafael Nadal (2)Roger Federer
2011Novak DjokovicRafael Nadal
2012Roger Federer (3)Tomas Berdych
2013Rafael Nadal (3)Stan Wawrinka
2014Rafael Nadal (4)Kei Nishikori
2015Andy Murray (2)Rafael Nadal
2016Novak Djokovic (2)Andy Murray
2017Rafael Nadal (5)Dominic Thiem
2018Alexander ZverevDominic Thiem

‘Roger’s presence in the Caja Mágica will make this year’s Mutua Madrid Open special,’ honorary president Manolo Santana said. ‘It doesn’t matter that he’s 37 because he still has that unmistakable class; the innate talent that has made him one of the best of all time. Being able to enjoy his tennis is something that no fan of the sport should miss.’

Federer has won the Madrid Masters three times, first in 2006 when he beat Fernando Gonzalez in the final, and then after the tournament switched to clay, in 2009 and 2012, beating Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych in respective finals. His most recent title at the Caja Magica came in 2012, the year of tournament owner Ion Tiriac’s infamous ‘blue clay’ experiment – the only edition of this or any tournament to be played on blue clay, which proved unpopular with the players. 

In addition to three titles, Federer has finished runner-up in Madrid twice: To David Nalbandian in 2007 and to Rafael Nadal in 2010.

The ATP Tour’s European clay-court season begins on 14 April with the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, with Madrid and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia or Rome Masters following in May before the French Open begins on 26 May 2019

The 2019 Madrid Masters will be Federer’s first tournament on clay since the 2016 Rome Masters, where Federer lost in the third round to Dominic Thiem.

Federer, who is now 37 years old, is due back on court for the first time since the Australian Open at the forthcoming Indian Wells Masters.

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Federer confirms return to Madrid Masters in 2019

Roger Federer will play the Mutua Madrid Open for the first time since 2015 after skipping the clay-court season entirely in recent years

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