In 2017 the Italian Tennis Federation chief Angelo Binaghi, speaking of Roger Federer's absence at the Rome Open had said that he always cheered for Rafael Nadal. Now, in 2019, Binaghi has a similar position. The Swiss is committed to play Madrid prior to the French Open and he may play in Rome only if he loses early in the Spanish city.
"The only question mark is Roger Federer, who did not play in the last two years, but we can come through it since we beat the tournament attendance record in 2016, without him. We have to be very careful to Madrid where Federer will play and keep fingers crossed.
We would be very happy to have Federer back in Rome, where he never won. Although I support Nadal." On the tournament' improvements, Binaghi added: "Over a week we earn €33 million, it has been growing for 15 years and the ticketing sale makes us have €12 million.
This year the pre-tickets sale increased by 11 per cent than the previous year and so we aim to beat the record in 2017 too since in 2018 it was a bit worse as there were two rainy days on Wednesday and Thursday, where there are usually most people.
Last year Italy's football Cup final between Juventus and Milan generated €5.3 million from ticketing, while our final's tournament made us get more than €2 million in a 9,900 seated stadium rather than 41,000." Federer last played in Rome in 2016 when he lost to Dominic Thiem in the third round.