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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 April 2019

Roger Federer to play Madrid Masters on clay return

Former world No 1 last played tournament, where he is three-time champion, in 2015 when he also made his most recent appearance at French Open

Roger Federer, in action in Miami at the moment, had skipped the clay-court season in 2017 and 2018. Lynne Sladky / AP Photo
Roger Federer, in action in Miami at the moment, had skipped the clay-court season in 2017 and 2018. Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

Roger Federer will play on clay before this year’s French Open after being confirmed on the entry list for the Madrid Masters, which starts on May 3, on Tuesday.

Federer, 37, last played the tournament, where he is a three-time champion, in 2015 when he also made his most recent appearance at Roland Garros.

He has skipped the clay-court season for the past two years to focus on being ready for the grass courts of Wimbledon, but he announced after the Australian Open that he would return to the red dirt in 2019.

The 20-time grand slam champion, a three-time winner in Madrid, will line up alongside world No 1 Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and title-holder Alexander Zverev after tournament organisers announced the field on Tuesday.

Federer won his 19th major crown at Wimbledon in 2017, before adding the Australian Open last year, but has not reached a major semi-final since.

He was scheduled to face Russian youngster Daniil Medvedev in the Miami Masters last 16 late on Monday night.

The French Open gets underway in Paris on May 26.

Petra Kvitova suffered career-threatening injuries to her playing left hand as she fought off the intruder at her home. Adnan Abidi / Reuters
Petra Kvitova suffered career-threatening injuries to her playing left hand as she fought off the intruder at her home. Adnan Abidi / Reuters

Kvitova attacker sentenced

In other news, an attacker who stabbed two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in her home was sentenced on Tuesday to eight years in prison by a Czech regional court, a court spokeswoman said.

Kvitova suffered severe wounds to her left playing hand as she struggled with the intruder, identified by the court as Radim Zondra, in her flat during the attack in December 2016.

When Kvitova testifed in February, she spoke of “blood everywhere” and she said that she recognised the attacker in police photographs immediately by his eyes.

Neither of the sides appealed the court’s ruling immediately, but they both can do so later, Brno regional court spokeswoman Eva Angyalossy said.

World No 2 Kvitova returned to professional tennis in May 2017, crowning her comeback 18 months later with her first final appearance at 2019 Australian Open.

She may reach the top spot for the first time in her career at the conclusion of the Miami tournament this weekend.

Updated: March 26, 2019 08:26 PM

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