All work and no clay for Federer before French Open

Roger Federer will play no clay-court events in the build-up to the French Open as he prepares for a hectic 2016 schedule.

The world number three has opted against playing Masters events in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome next season with his only outing on the red surface coming at the French Open – which starts in May.

That means Federer, who has won a record 17 grand slams, will have a two-month break between playing the masters event in Indian Wells in early March and Roland Garros.

With Federer turning 35 in 2016, his decision is perhaps not that surprising considering his schedule will see him play in three events at the Rio Olympic Games.

As well as appearing in the singles, the Swiss will contest the men’s doubles with Stan Wawrinka and the mixed doubles in a dream pairing alongside Martina Hingis.

The Games complete a gruelling run for Federer that starts in Stuttgart on June 6 and takes in more grass-court competition in Halle before Wimbledon.

Federer will then head to Toronto for the Rogers Cup at the end of the July before flying out to Brazil for the Games.

The 34-year-old’s schedule means he will play just five of nine Masters events next year.

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