Federer made a late decision to play in Rome, in a bid to get more matches under his belt ahead of the French Open.
The Swiss looked in good form at the Madrid Open before being beaten by Dominic Thiem and he says he’s keen to get going again on the clay.
“I think it always goes back to the fact that I did grow up on this surface. Sliding is something I actually enjoy doing,” said Federer.
“The problem is, like, the more time I spend on clay, maybe sometimes the more excited I get playing on the surface, start sliding around too much instead of actually moving sometimes like on the hard courts and only sliding when really required.
“I think this week, then next week in Paris, it’s going to be interesting to see how I play the points, how I do it all. In Madrid, like we said, conditions were extremely fast, so you could play serve and volley, you could come to the net.
“Here maybe it’s easier to play drop shots, easier maybe to go backhands up the line. On fast courts it’s maybe not so simple to do that at will.
“I must say also in practice in Switzerland I felt good right away. Very happy where I’m at, to be quite honest. I was a bit surprised that it went as easy as it did.”
09:30: Rain is expected to play a role today with showers expected in Rome. Fortunately, tennis can still be played on clay in the rain. But not too much!
09:15: Federer had requested a Wednesday afternoon start but the organisers have opted to put him in the first match of the day. The Swiss very rarely plays in the opening game of the day’s schedule
09:00: Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Roger Federer’s second-round clash against Joao Sousa at the Italian Open