Roger Federer will not be on the pitch at the Rome tournament (9-16 May). The 39-year-old from Basel has in fact formally withdrawn from the Masters 1000 scoreboard (which saw him enrolled ex officio). The reasons for this waiver have not been disclosed, but the decision may be based on the intention not to overload one's program.
The previous week (2-9 May) Federer will in fact be expected in Madrid, where he intends to open his season on clay. This news could now prompt the organizers of the Geneva Open (May 15-22) to propose to King Roger that he add the Geneva clay court event to his Roland Garros preparation program.
Raul Zurutuza, the tournament director (TD) of the Mexican Open, recently talked about how happy he would be if both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both play at his event someday.
Zurutuza on Roger Federer
"It would be incredible to have Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the same year," Raul Zurutuza said.
"Have you heard about the divers in Acapulco? They are very famous, because there is a cliff, where there are divers who throw themselves from very high into the water. I tell you something - if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play together in Acapulco one day, I will jump off the cliff into the sea."
Raul Zurutuza also jokingly marveled at Roger Federer’s longevity, claiming that the 39-year-old might well play for another decade. "This is something we have discussed with Tony Godsick (his agent) many times," Zurutuza said about Roger Federer.
"Look, maybe 10 years from now, we'll both have more gray hair and Roger will still be playing tennis. Nothing tells us that he will continue playing for several more years. I do not lose hope that he will come."
Last week, Federer was announced on the entry list of Mutua Madrid Open. And it was presumed that it would be Federer’s lone tournament before the Grand Slam in Paris. But the Madrid Open also has a very competitive draw, which might be tough for Federer as his 2021 season is in its infancy.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, Federer is probably not looking for a competitive draw. He’ll want as many matches as he can get from a tournament before he travels to Paris. It is to be noted that Federer has returned on the ATP Tour after his 14-month injury layoff. He made his return at ATP Qatar Open 2021, losing in the quarterfinals.