In an interview to Sky Sport, Italian player Filippo Baldi spoke about the training session he had with Roger Federer in the Rome Foro Italico on Wednesday. "On Tuesday night they called me and asked me, 'Would you like to hit with Federer?' I did not answer straight.
I said, 'Did you really ask me this question?' I obviously. In the morning, in the locker room he said, 'Hi, I am Roger.' And I told him, I know who you are, I watched "some" matches of yours on TV...
We headed to the court, I was a bit nervous, the first two or three minutes I was thinking, I was seeing him on the other side of the net and I was feeling something special. He does not struggle in hitting strong, his ball is strong, the slice and forehand are impressive.
But he is a simple person, after the training session I and my team stopped asking him a photo and he is always available." On how players spend rainy days in tournaments, Baldi added: "Someone plays PlayStation, someone eats, someone stays with his family.
When it rains I speak with my coach, family, we joke and laugh a bit. Then when it's the moment to go to the court they call us and we speak about what we have to do." Following the Rafael Nadal's straight-set semifinal match win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome, the former world no.
4 Greg Rusedski praised the Spanish player. Speaking on Amazon Prime, Rusedski said: "The greatest fighter we’ve ever known in our sport so he is going to find a way to get back to his best. We were all concerned as to whether it was a physical problem because he had a closed practice before the Fognini match and we were thinking maybe it’s knee problems like he had at Indian Wells.
But Rafa puts in the work on and off the court, does all the physio treatement and he’s back. Today’s performance was statement performance. There were still question marks coming into the semi-finals but today was the stamp to show he’s back”.