Roger Federer fired Rafael Nadal warning as Madrid Open decision explained

Nadal has won a record 11 French Open titles but heads into this year’s clay season having only just recovered from a knee injury.

The Spaniard is still the favourite to reign supreme on the red dirt, despite Federer’s return to top form following his Miami Open title win.

Federer will mark his three-year comeback at the Madrid Open in May before returning to Roland Garros.

And Kuhnen thinks the world No 4 has picked the Spanish tournament to prepare for Paris because of the playing conditions.

“I am very curious how he will act after almost three years break on clay,” Kuhnen told Sky Sports Germany.

“That he has selected Madrid as his first clay court tournament before the French Open, for me is very understandable.

“Due to the altitude, the game is a bit faster there, which suits him and his game.

“It is not for nothing he has already won there three times (2006 on hard court).

“He then has 14 days to prepare for the French Open.

“There the big hurdle will be called Rafael Nadal.

“The Spaniard has been injured but will do anything to triumph again in Paris.

“Should he get into the clay court season, he is still the player to beat there.”

Federer will take a well-deserved month-long break in April after a gruelling March.

During last month, the Swiss star reached the Indian Wells Masters final and won the Miami Open title.

The 37-year-old beat John Isner in straight sets to claim the 101st title of his career.

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