In a press conference in Rome Marco Cecchinato commented on his admiration toward Roger Federer. The Italian player said: "In Madrid we had the rooms closed each other and he told me that I am his son's favorite player.
I would have never thought to be able to speak with him. Just think about being his son's favorite and one of the players Roger was looking at closely last year! It's definitely special." Asked if facing and beating Federer in Rome is still his dream, Cecchinato replied: "My dream is to face him before he stops, it has always been a dream of mine and hopefully this dream can happen before his retirement."
On how it felt to try to retain his French Open semifinal after last year's breakthrough, Cecchinato concluded: "Finally that tournament happened and so I do not speak about it anymore. I had made some calcuoations and if I lost in the first round in Rome and French Open, I would have been world No.
40, which is not that bad. It's a nice and important ranking position." Last year Cecchinato lived a fairytale in Paris. In the first round he was down two sets to love to the Romanian Marius Copil, then he prevailed 8-6 on the fifth set, beat Marco Trungelliti, Pablo Carreno Busta, David Goffin and even Novak Djokovic in an epic quarter-final. Cecchinato, a Palermo native, eventually lost to the Australian Dominic Thiem in the semis.