ATP - Roger Federer says it is important for him to do well in Rome

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ATP - Roger Federer says it is important for him to do well in Rome

Tennis - Roger Federer has not had a good start to the season. The 17 time grand slam champion has not reached the finals of any of the events he has played and has dropped to no. 3 in the world behind Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Now after last week's early defeat in Madrid, Federer is looking to get some momentum back in Rome heading into Paris for the French Open.

Speaking at the pre match media briefing, Federer commented, "I've been practising well and I'm really hungry and motivated to play again. I hope I can play a good tournament here. That's really important for me. But first things first, I want to start well.

“It's totally different to last year, where I arrived at the last minute in Rome with the victory in Madrid. I was carrying a little bit of an injury with me and said, 'ok let's see how Rome goes' and I played in the semis. It is a totally different preparation this time around. I arrived much earlier, because of my [third]-round loss in Madrid.”

“The clay-court swing in Europe is very different to playing in America, in Asia or the indoor season. The weather changes a lot. It can be windy, gusty, wet, or really hot, so you don't know what you're going to get. You can get lucky or unlucky in the process. But we are visiting really nice places. It's a nice swing in terms of the cities. I've really enjoyed coming here to Italy. I've always got amazing fan support over the years and I couldn't be more thankful. It's definitely one of the reasons why I'm back again.”

Federer has never won this title although he has been to the finals twice in his career.