MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 10: Mutua Madrid Open Roger Federer during the match between Mutua Madrid Open Masters v day 7 on May 10, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)Roger Federer has confirmed he will compete at the Italian Open next week as he looks to get more match preparation ahead of the French Open.
Eyebrows were raised when the Swiss’ name appeared in the draw on Friday during his agonising defeat to Dominic Thiem in Madrid – where he missed two match points – and Federer was coy over his chances of playing in Rome.
However, the world No. 3 has opted to travel to Italy and confirmed the news on Instagram.
‘Hello everybody I’ve just finished speaking to the team and I’m happy to say I’m coming back to Rome to play in Italy,’ he said.
‘Can’t wait. So excited. It’s been too long. See you there. Ciao.’
Federer will be joined in Rome by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – both of whom are competing in Saturday’s semi-finals at the Madrid Open – while Serena Williams will also make her return from injury.
Williams has not played a match since pulling out of her last-32 match in Miami due to a knee injury and will start against Beligium’s Elise Mertens.
Should she come through what is a testing tie, she could meet her sister Venus in the second round.
Federer, meanwhile, has landed in the same half of the draw as defending champion Nadal, with Greece’s Madrid semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in his quarter.
Djokovic is in the other half of the draw along with Juan Martin del Potro, Kei Nishikori and Alexander Zverev, while Thiem has landed in Nadal’s section of the draw.