By forgoing at least some of the clay-court events, a decision he said he had just made, Federer will prioritize other parts of the year that are more to his liking: the grass-court season (he will play tournaments in Stuttgart and Halle, Germany, before Wimbledon), the US Open and the possibility of qualifying for the year-end championships.
That year, at age 24, Federer won the Australian Open and the first two Masters 1000-level tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, known as the Sunshine double. Federer beat Nadal for the third time this year, 6-3, 6-4, to become the oldest men's champion in the 33-year history of the tournament.
The Miami Open proved to be the third tournament that the Swiss has won since January, although the former world number one has revealed that he is now planning a break of nearly two months before the 2017 French Open.
"On the big points I was just maybe a little bit better", Federer said. "My body needs healing - you'll probably see me at the French again". I probably won't play any clay court events except the French.
"I want to stay healthy", Federer said.
"When I am not feeling this good, there is no chance I will be in the finals competing with Rafa".
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I can't keep this pace up every single day or the desire will run out. The French Open starts on May 28.
"Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal now", the world No. 4 told reporters after beating Nadal to secure his third hard-court title of the year. "I am very excited about playing back on clay again", he said.
"Part of the situation was that my knee was really unusual on the clay a year ago, so maybe being away from the clay as much as possible is a good thing as well, even though I don't think it was because of the clay as such", he said.
"For me basically the second half of the season is the big priority which is why I am taking this break now", added Federer.
"He's playing fantastic tennis, he finds a way to continue to win these close matches and he's won a lot of close ones this year", he stressed. But he said he felt in good form heading into the clay season, where he has enjoyed so much of his success. "That's why I'll take a break". "The dynamics change and we will see what happens". "Otherwise, you'll see me here, and you will see that all I want to do is get out of here".