‘In the mood’: Roger Federer seeks more clay matches in Rome

Paola Ditto
Mag 15, 2019

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has criticised Italian Open organisers for doubling ticket prices after it was confirmed he would play.

In a press conference following his loss to Dominic Thiem in Madrid, Roger Federer commented on his grass season plans.

Federer was originally due to play just last week's Madrid Open in the build-up to Roland Garros, where he will feature for the first time since 2015.

He added Rome as a late addition to his schedule to get more accustomed to the style of play which will be required at the French Open, which begins a week from Sunday. In the memorable 2006 Italian Open final, Federer lost in a fifth-set tiebreaker to Nadal. I felt like playing somewhat maybe more sea level conditions would be good for me. That's obviously disappointing to hear, ' said the Swiss, who only made it public he would be coming to play the event last Saturday. I'll probably only decide on the weekend, but I'm not sure if I'm going to go. "They rewarded the fans who bought tickets earlier, which is sort of unusual, but OK", Federer said. "Coming down from Switzerland to the clay courts was always a logical junior trip".

"There's going to be good crowds hopefully, good atmosphere". "Would I rather practice or play matches?"

Federer could come up against eight-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals in Rome, and Madrid Open victor and eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals. "My excitement couldn't be bigger".

"I'm so far away in the draw", Federer said of a possible semifinal matchup with his longtime rival.

"I thought Stefanos was very impressive against him (Nadal) last week", continued Federer. Sousa has looked in good form and Federer has struggled on clay but I still see the Swiss master being too strong.

"There is a bit of a new wave coming through with the one-handed backhand that can counter some of Rafa's spins and lefty play".

"Especially for the clay-courters".

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