TENNIS: Roger Federer reckons he needs to rest his 35-year-old body after claiming yet another title - and win over arch rival Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss ace took his record in 2017 to 19-1 by beating the Spaniard 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Miami Open, becoming the tournament's oldest men's champion.
He has now strung four straight wins together over Nadal, one of them coming in an epic Australian Open final at Melbourne Park in January.
Having only recently returned from a six-month layoff due to a knee injury, Federer said he would now take a break before returning for the French Open in late May.
"I'm not 24 any more so things have changed in a big way and I probably won't play any clay court event except the French. That is what it is going to look like, I need rest, my body needs healing, I need time as well to prepare, you will probably see me at the French again," he said.
Federer said he would sit out clay court tournaments including Masters series events in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome.
"I want to stay healthy and enjoy myself," he said. "Because when I am healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this, when I am not feeling this good there is no chance I will be in the finals competing with Rafa.
"That is why this break coming now in the clay court season and focusing everything now on the French, the grass and then the hard courts after that is going to be the key for me."
Nadal still leads their career head-to-head record at 23-14, but Federer now leads 10-9 on hardcourt.
Federer has also recently won the final of the Paribas Open, in straight sets over Stan Wawrinka. His only loss this year was to Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the second round in Dubai.
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