Roger Federer wrote one of the best comeback stories in tennis history in what went down as a strange season for men's tennis. Two veterans, Federer and Nadal, saw an opportunity and transformed the ATP circuit into an even split business. However, Rafael Nadal is still five years younger than his rival from Switzerland. Trying to maximise his schedule, Federer skipped the entire Clay Court swing of 2017. That gave Nadal an easier ride throughout the European slugfest while on the other side Federer reaped the fruits on grass swing.

Some say that Federer skipping the entire clay season is the only way he can remain relevant for a few more years.

Still, there might room for some adjustments including a short bid on the European red clay.

Roger Federer and his strange relationship with clay

Rafael Nadal is the best clay court player in history, there is no doubt on this matter. However, Roger Federer is the luxury boxes too. But, he is short of too Masters 1000 on this surface. Monte Carlo and Rome are the only two big clay court events where he is yet to prevail once.

Claudio Mezzadri is a former Swiss tennis player and a name close to Roger Federer. According to Mezzadri, Federer sees himself competing on clay in 2018 with Rome as a possible target. Alexander Zverev, the young ATP tennis star from Germany, won the 2017 edition of Rome Masters 1000 defeating Novak Djokovic in the final.

Roger Federer's glorious days on clay are long gone. His last clay court success occurred back in 2015 in Istanbul (ATP 250) while the last big title on this surface dated back from 2012 ( Federer defeated Tomas Berdych in Madrid on blue clay).

To put it in simple words, Federer delivers better on faster surfaces and to cite John McEnroe ''when there is speed, there is hope''.

Federer will aim big where he feels he can deliver his best tennis

Although it would be nice to have Roger Federer involved in one or two clay court events in 2018, the hotspots of his 2018 schedule would still be revolving around the grass court session or the fast hardcourts of North America. Moreover, the next season means a lot of points to defend and Federer must keep on eye on that aspect too if he wants to stay at the top longer.

So far, Federer has only one confirmation for the upcoming season. As he did in 2017, he will play at the Hopman Cup as a warm-up for the Australian Open. In Melbourne, the real fight is set to begin with so many big names trying to work their ways up to the top.