20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has said that though his recent victory at the Miami Open has taken some pressure off him heading into the 2019 clay-court season, he is still not feeling too confident.
The 37-year-old Swiss star brushed aside injured John Isner of America 6-1, 6-4 to lift his 101st ATP title at the Miami Open on Sunday.
"What this win (Miami) does for me is it just takes even more pressure off from the clay-court season," Sport24 quoted Federer as saying.
The victory might have given a big relief to Federer ahead of the clay-court season, but the world number five is quite worried about how quickly he would adapt to the red dirt--where he is making a return after almost two years.
In recent years, Federer has missed the clay-court seasons in its entirety, including the second major of the season, i.e, French Open in order to boost up his preparation for his all-time favourite grass-court season.
Federer appeared in his last clay-court tournament in May 2016 when he slumped to a defeat at the hands of Dominic Thiem in the third round of the International BNL d'Italia in Rome.
The Swiss star, who is expected to make a return to the clay-court with this year's Madrid Open in May, said that he is currently not focussing on rushing things and is looking forward to taking baby steps.
"I'm not very confident going into this clay court season, I can tell you that. I didn't even remember how to slide anymore. I'm taking baby steps at this point.I didn’t play one point - not one shot - on clay last year," Federer said.
"Two years ago I played two days. Three years ago I played not feeling great in Monte-Carlo and Rome and all that.It's been so little that I really don't know what to expect," he added.
On a related note, the Madrid Open is slated to take place from May 3 to May 12.