Roger Federer makes surprise announcement after Madrid Open shocker

Roger Federer has announced he’s added the Italian Open to his French Open preparations.

A day after his three-set loss to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals, Federer announced his plans in an Instagram video on Saturday.

Federer said: “Hello everybody. Just finished speaking to the team and happy to say I’m coming back to Rome to play in Italy.

“Can’t wait. It’s so exciting. It’s been too long. I’ll see you there. Ciao tutti. Bye bye.”

Change of plans?

It was somewhat of a surprise given Federer was previously thought to be only interested in playing one lead-up tournament before the French Open.

The Italian Open starts on Sunday and Federer has a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed.

He’ll open against either 37th-ranked Frances Tiafoe or 75th-ranked Joao Sousa.

Federer is a four-time runner-up at the Italian Open, which he’s never won, making it one of the few significant trophies the 20-time grand slam winner hasn’t claimed.

Roger Federer in action in Madrid. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

He skipped the clay swing the past two years to remain fit for the rest of the season.

He decided to return this year in preparation for his first French Open appearance since 2015.

Roland Garros starts on May 26.