In an interview to El Pais, Roger Federer explained why he is still on the Rome Open entry list. The Swiss will probably withdraw from the Italian event if he goes far this week in Madrid. "In the Masters 1000 you are in the entry list by rules.
That's why if you do not play them, it seems you are injured", said Federer. "I keep being committed to Rome because I do not know what will happen this week and you always have to keep it as an option. I am focused on Madrid and Paris."
On his expectations for clay, the 37-year-old added: "It makes me remember a bit what happened after the 2017 Australian Open. We do not know what to expect. It may go well or it may go bad. I hope to play more than just two matches.
My goal is to get some wins here and in Paris as well. I do not expect a lot from myself because I have not played on the surface. Training sessions went well but I cannot expect myself to go far in tournaments just because of this."
The Madrid Open Tournament Director Feliciano Lopez looks forward to seeing Federer competing in the Spanish event for the first time since 2015. The Spaniard said: "We are happy because his comeback to Madrid is a gift for the tournament, but especially for the fans who will see a unique and unrepeatable player."
The honorary president Manolo Santana added: "At 37 years of age he has a unique class, the talent made him stand out as one of the greatest players ever. Being able to watch his game is an event that cannot be missed by fans. That will make this edition really special."