After several days of waiting as the rumours swirled around the health of his back, Roger Federer turned up on Wednesday for a practice session on No.1 Court at Roland Garros.
A mid-day appearance by his coach Ivan Ljubicic in the players’ lounge at Philippe Chatrier Court had people talking. And a few hours later, Federer confirmed the whispers himself: he was at Roland-Garros.
In the afternoon, the “Maestro” hit balls back and forth for about 20 minutes on No.1 Court with “Ljubi” and under the watchful eye of his entire team.
The aim of the session was for Federer to ease himself into this year's campaign in Paris and - perhaps most importantly - to test out his back. After an injury forced him to withdraw from the Madrid Masters, he needs to know whether his back will allow him to be competitive here.
However, as can happen in Paris, the rain began to fall and practice was cut short, perhaps leaving the question unresolved.
At 34 years old, the Swiss will take no chances when it comes to his physical condition. He decided to call it a day when the court became too slippery.