On March 12 the Barcelona Open will announce the player's entry list for the upcoming edition that takes place from 22 to 28 April 2019. So far three top ten players - Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem - and two Next Gen players like Karen Khachanov and Stefanos Tsitsipas have been confirmed.
Tsitsipas defeated Roger Federer in the Australian Open fourth round, and in December through Twitter Faisal M. Arab, the Swiss's hitting partner in Dubai revealed that the 20-time Grand Slam winner could play Barcelona and/or Rome.
In an interview to Marca, the Tournament Director Albert Costa said: "We have no news about it but we would like a lot that Federer comes." As we recently reported, the 37-year-old asks a €1 million appearance fee to play ATP 250 and 500s and Barcelona already spent most of its budget for the 11-time event winner Nadal and the other players.
That's why Federer is likely to play Madrid or Rome, two Masters 1000 events where players are not meant to take appearance fees. In a press conference at the Australian Open after his loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Federer said he saw some similarities with the Greek: 'He has a one-handed backhand and I used to have long hair, too.
Yeah, so maybe a little bit, sure. He has more of a continental grip than players nowadays. Sure, that's a bit more my way than, let's say, Rafa's way.' The Swiss will play three tournaments over one month and a half: Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.