A rather unlikely revival brought back Roger Federer at the top of the ATP circuit having the 35-year-old Swiss in the driver's seat just before the clay court swing. Storming through several big ATP tournaments, Federer has three titles in 2017, a Grand Slam and two Masters 1000 crowns. But all these achievements were accomplished on outdoor hard, a surface which enhances the overall speed of a match eventually shortening the points. It's just what Federer needed after a long hiatus and considering his age. Even so, his consistency is something only a few saw it coming.

After the Davis Cup session, the action will be moving on the European red clay while Federer decided to take some time off. It's nothing surprising for this strategy, in fact, it gives a proper time for a deeper reflection process.

Clay can hardly be called a friendly ground for Roger Federer

It's clear that Roger Federer's further goals for the current season are not centered on the clay court swing. His decision to only play at the french open came naturally, and no one seems to be bothered. So, to put Federer in the favorites' pot at Roland Garros might be an impulsive emotions-driven statement. Indeed, the Swiss star has shown some improvements regarding his tactics and his newly-branded backhand stirred up some vivid debates but those only apply on a fast surface, and clay is everything but fast regardless of all the efforts to increase the general speed of it.

Besides, an extended analysis will reveal how small was Federer's success on the clay court over the past eight years since he won his only French Open in that historical final against Robin Soderling back in 2009. Since then, it has been a severe drought with only two titles on clay. Back in 2012 Federer outshined Tomas Berdych in Madrid in what was a highly controversial tournament being played on an experimental blue clay.

The other success came three years later in Istanbul, an ATP 250 event having its debut edition that season. It's clear that the whole pile of arguments cannot put Federer in a winning position for the French Open.

The entire herd of ATP tennis stars is starving for success

Plenty top competitors might want to put their own hands on the crown at the French Open.

Out there in the battlefield, players like Andy Murray who is yet to win a Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and other dangerous though unpredictable athletes like Wawrinka, Raonic, Nishikori or Kyrgios. Except for Kyrgios who is still a young rising star, all others used to be in the favorites' box, but in 2017 they lacked success. The clay swing might be the time to change that fact. So, for Federer are plenty of reason to fail on clay. But, you may never Know for sure what he will pull out of his bag of tricks.