Roger Federer should not risk playing both the French Open and Wimbledon as his decision to skip clay court season last year worked wonders for him, according to former British tennis player Barry Cowan.
The 43-year-old, who is best known for pushing legendary Pete Sampras to the limits at 2001 Wimbledon, insists Federer retaining his Wimbledon crown is likelier than him successfully chasing his second Roland Garros title at French Open 2018.
World No. 1 Federer has been a cut above the chasing pack ever since he made a stunning comeback in 2017. The 36-year-old, who returned from a six-month injury layoff, won seven titles, including Australian Open and Wimbledon, last year.
Federer carefully planned his stops on the ATP tour last season as he chose to skip the entire clay court season, which was dominated by Rafael Nadal. Notably, the former hasn't always found a lot of success on the dirt as he has managed only one French Open title (2009).
Nonetheless, the considerably long break last season worked in favor of Federer as he was able to successfully continue his dominant run on grass, winning a record-breaking eighth Wimbledon title.
Federer finished the year behind Nadal on the ATP charts but dethroned the latter after defending his Australian Open crown and an ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam.
"I don't think he will play on the clay. I would be shocked if he plays on the clay because why does it change from this year from last year?" Cowan wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
"I don't believe he can win both the French and Wimbledon so for me it's one or the other. The likelier chance of winning one would be Wimbledon. What would he rather win? Personally, I think he would rather win another Wimbledon title, but only Roger knows that answer," he added.
"It worked last year not playing on the clay and then playing Stuttgart and Halle before Wimbledon, so I don't see him changing that, but no one could ever argue with his schedule.
"What Federer has shown is that he knows when to pick and choose what tournaments he enters because he doesn't want to overplay. He will identify what are the most important tournaments and then say 'what do I need to do before that to be ready?"
Federer has still not ruled out his chances of featuring in the clay court season. The Swiss great, after his Rotterdam Open win earlier this month, had said he would be considering "a light schedule" if he decides to play on the dirt.
As expected, Federer decided to skip the ongoing ATP 500 tournament, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and opted for family time. He even chose to attend the Laureus awards ceremony in Monte Carlo.
Federer will make a comeback at Indian Wells (BNP Paribas Open, starting March 8) where he will be defending his Masters 1000 title. He had completed his third Sunshine Double with a title in Miami in 2017.