Federer dismisses retirement talk
Roger Federer has rubbished reports claiming his decision to play on clay this season is because he is thinking of retiring.
Former world number one Federer opted to skip the clay section of the campaign in 2017 and 2018 in order to manage his body and focus on events he felt he had a better chance of winning.
In general, this worked for the Swiss as he landed the 2017 Wimbledon Championship and the Australian Open last year, taking his Grand Slam tally to a record 20 titles.
Rather surprisingly, the 37-year-old has confirmed he will be returning to clay this season to have a crack at the French Open, a tournament he won back in 2009.
Federer's Roland Garros comeback sparked theories that he was planning to have one last hurrah before hanging up his racket, but he has dismissed the rumours and says retirement is not on his mind.
"No, it's not. I thought of it, in isolation, do I want to play the clay or not? The answer was yes," he was quoted as saying by theweek.com. "This doesn't mean this is my last clay-court season, whatever, or I had to play one more time before I retired. That was not the thinking."
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.