Roger Federer withdraws from Rome. Will he play on clay this year?

by   |  VIEW 24716

Roger Federer withdraws from Rome. Will he play on clay this year?

The four-time Rome finalist Roger Federer will not chase his first Foro Italico title next month, withdrawing from the season's fourth Masters 1000 event. The 39-year-old has played only two tournaments since the beginning of 2020, dealing with a knee injury and undergoing two surgeries last February and May.

Staying away from the court for over 13 months, Roger Federer returned to action in Doha in March. The Swiss defeated Daniel Evans in his first match since January 30, 2020, to reach the quarters, where he wasted a match point against Nikoloz Basilashvili to hit the exit door.

Not rushing anything after the most extended break of his career, Roger is yet to make his next move, confirming Halle and Wimbledon in his schedule but remaining silent about the clay swing. It is clear that Federer will not compete in April, leaving room for Madrid and Roland Garros in May and June.

The Swiss will have to think twice before entering any event on the slowest surface, with Roland Garros starting seven days later and reducing the grass swing to only two weeks.

The 20-time Major champion Roger Federer will not play in Rome this year.

Federer played in the Italian capital two years ago, returning to Foro Italico for the first time since 2016 and scoring victories over Joao Sousa and Borna Coric to reach the quarters.

The Swiss ousted the Croat in the third set's tie break after two and a half hours, giving his best to cross the finish line first and set Stefanos Tsitsipas clash. Nonetheless, Roger had to withdraw (his first withdrawal since the ATP Finals 2014) before that one due to a right leg injury, not risking anything ahead of Roland Garros.

Roger scored 34 victories in Rome, advancing into four finals but never lifting the trophy. In 2003 and 2006, Roger lost to Felix Mantilla and Rafael Nadal, with the letter encounter standing as one of the finest in tennis history.

Seven years later, Federer took only four games versus Rafa in the final, with another defeat coming two years later when Novak Djokovic proved to be too strong.