Cape Town - Roger Federer has revealed that he and his team are considering returning to the clay-courts next season.
Federer has enjoyed a lot of renewed success in his career since deciding to avoid the clay-court season entirely in recent years, but he revealed to ESPN that a return to playing at least some events on the red dirt is being discussed.
"The clay-court season is under review," Federer said ahead of the start of the Laver Cup, which begins on Friday.
"It's not off the table. I will know by the end of the year."
The theory is that in avoiding clay court events, which have never been his strong suit, Federer is able to save all his energy and focus for the tournaments he has the best chance of winning, helping to preserve his 37-year-old body and prolong his career.
But many have been critical of his decision to skip Roland Garros, and Federer has also hinted that he does not really enjoy sitting out one of the year's Grand Slams.
"I would like to make up my mind ahead of time so I can plan my build-up, my fitness schedule, even the way I would approach my December practice sessions," Federer said. "It could benefit the clay-court season."
At his age, it is not a decision Federer will take lightly, however.
"This is something that is obviously a big deal. If you play the clay, it changes everything."
Asked why he would risk a return to clay, Federer said simply: "Just because I want to do it.
"It's a full-on passion thing."