The returning Roger Federer has given a huge hint that he is considering retirement from tennis soon, according to a report on the Express.

The Swiss international decided to miss the entire clay-court season this year, allowing rival Rafael Nadal to claim four titles.

However, the world number two has returned to action on the grass in the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, where he defeated Mischa Zverev in three sets to advance to the quarter-final stage.

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Federer is warming up for Wimbledon and the 36-year-old knows that he will have to leave the sport for good at some point.

When speaking about retirement, he said:

The most important thing, first of all, is the joy of the game. The feeling of winning, to hear the audience and to give them pleasure. And to prove to myself and my team that I can win another tournament or defend a title.

But of course, the end is closer than ever before. But I also do not know when it’s over.

It will be very interesting and funny after that. I’m curious how it will be. But I am also convinced that the leap into the future will work.

Federer is one of the favourites to win Wimbledon and has returned to action fresh and full of energy, whilst his counterpart Nadal takes some time off to recover from a gruelling clay-court season.