Tennis: Federer will decide on clay return within weeks

Federer hits a return against Borna Coric at the Shanghai Masters. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Roger Federer will decide as early as next month whether to return to clay-court action next year, the Swiss great said on Saturday (Oct 13), after losing his Shanghai Masters semi-final.

The 37-year-old has been managing his schedule and stopped playing the clay-court season, including the French Open, in the past two years to wring the most out of his ageing body.

Quizzed by reporters about his plans for next year, the 20-time Grand Slam winner - fresh from losing to 13th seed Borna Coric of Croatia - showed a flash of irritation.

"Like I said, I think I will try to take a decision on the clay towards maybe before - well let's say while I'm on vacation after London (ATP Finals November 11-18).

"So like this I know how to work on my fitness and tennis programme for those sort of four weeks in December.

"That then plays a role for the rest of the season, and that's it, I still don't know.

"And please stop asking me, I really don't know."

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