Federer to play in Italian Open

Roger Federer has announced that he will continue his 2019 clay campaign by playing in Rome for the first time since 2016. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who has reached the final at the Italian Open on four occasions, confirmed his participation in the event in a video on his Twitter page.

“I’ve just finished speaking to my team and I’m happy to say I’m coming back to Rome to play in Italy. I can’t wait, it’s so exciting, it’s been too long. I'll see you there,” said Federer.

The Swiss player, who is the No. 3 seed, will receive a bye in the first round before facing either Frances Tiafoe or Joao Sousa in the second. Borna Coric is a potential third round opponent while he could face Italy’s Fabio Fognini or Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals. No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, who defeated him in a thrilling three-set match in the quarterfinals in Madrid on Friday, feature in the bottom quarter of the draw and could provide potential semifinal opposition.

This will be the 17th time Federer has played at the Foro Italico. The 37-year-old made his debut here in 2000 and reached the final in 2003 (l. Felix Mantilla), 2006 (l. Nadal), 2013 (l. Nadal) and 2015 (l. Novak Djokovic). This year marks the first time he has played on clay in almost three years.

After skipping the clay swing entirely in 2017 and 2018, it seems Federer is not only looking to keep himself match-sharp for the grass-court season but hoping to win what would be a 21st grand-slam title in Roland Garros.

Date: 11 May 2019, Source: Rome


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