Federer to play Madrid Masters on clay return

Roger Federer, a three-time winner in Madrid, will line up alongside world number one Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and title-holder Alexander Zverev.

Roger Federer has skipped the clay-court season for the last two years to focus on being ready for Wimbledon.   -  AFP/Getty Images

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.

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

Federer has skipped the clay-court season for the last two years to focus on being ready for the grass courts of Wimbledon, but 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 number one 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 Slam semifinal since.

He faces Russian youngster Daniil Medvedev in the Miami Masters last 16 later on Tuesday.

The French Open gets underway in Paris on May 26.