EXPLAINED. Why Roger Federer will play in Madrid and not in Rome

The Swiss Maestro chose the ATP1000 in Madrid to "warm up" before the French Open. Here it;s explained why.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Madrid 2009

Roger Federer has finally decided to compete during the clay court season after missing it for the last 2 years. However, the 37-year-old will play only a couple of tournaments on the dirt to skip some other key events such as the ATP1000 in Monte Carlo and Rome.

Why Federer chose Madrid over Rome or Monte Carlo

As per Federer’s words, the Swiss Maestro is now chasing titles, and he is probably aspiring to break the record that will consecrate him as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time): Jimmy Connors’ 109 titles. Roger has won 101 singles titles so far, he is in top form, and he can catch the American if he has a couple of good seasons. Therefore his priority is winning titles while remaining healthy.

Why Federer will not play in Monte Carlo

Back to Federer’s schedules on clay, Roger chose not to play in Monte Carlo for various reasons.

First, the tournament it’s too close to the Sunshine Double. Roger played 12 matches combined in Indian Wells and Miami, and even if he wasn’t engaged in any real marathon, it is wise for him to take a prolonged rest.

Second, Monte Carlo is still a “complete domain” of Rafael Nadal that has won 11 titles in Principality and he looks all set to conquer the 12th.

Third, Roger was never “lucky” in Monte Carlo where he has never won a title, but he was the runner-up on 4 occasions (2006, 2007, 2008, and 2014)

Why Federer will not play in Rome

Similarly to Monte Carlo, Roger wasn’t also very successful in Rome (at least for his standards). Roger hasn’t won a single title in the Italian capital, but he only managed to reach the final on 4 occasions (2003, 2006, 2013, and 2015). Furthermore, after Rome, there is “only” a 1-week buffer from the Roland Garros (Rome ends the 20th of May while the France Open will commence the 27th).

It’s interesting to notice that Federer is still in the entry list in Rome, but he is expected not to play also after he published on his website that only Madrid and the Roland Garros are confirmed.

Why Federer will play in Madrid

Madrid was the obvious choice for Federer. The conditions are ideal for the Swiss since the Spanish capital is almost 700 meters above the sea level and the balls fly fast (and Roger loves that). For this reason, Federer managed to win the title in Madrid 3 times in 2006, 2009, and 2012 (on blue clay). Roger also defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-4 in the 2009 final, and that may give some more confidence to the Swiss even if that final was played many moons ago.

Another good reason to play in Madrid is that Roger will have enough time to rest and prepare for the ATP1000 that will start only the 6th of May, and he will have enough time to fine-tune his preparation for the French Open since he will have a 2-weeks’ buffer. Finally, keeping all options open, the Swiss might also decide at the very end to play in Rome if he wants to have more matches on the dirt.

One thing is sure: this is going to be interesting!


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