Persistent rain in Rome led to the whole Wednesday schedule being cancelled and it means Federer faces playing two matches today if he beat Sousa.
Federer made a late decision to play in Rome, in a bid to get more matches under his belt ahead of the French Open and 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.”
ROGER FEDERER VS JOAO SOUSA LIVE
*Federer 3-3 Sousa
Love service hold for Federer as he serves and volleys expertly.
Federer 2-3 Sousa*
Gorgeous Federer dropshot, 40-15. Then Sousa nets a backhand on the stretch, deuce. But the timing on Federer’s shots is a bit off and Sousa comes through.
*Federer 2-2 Sousa
Lovely wrong-footing forehand winner from Federer, 30-15. But he follows that with another forehand into the net. He then goes long with a forehand to hand Sousa a break point. Fist pump from Federer as he puts away a low volley.
Federer goes long with a backhand, second break point. Federer forehand winner. Federer smash winner and an ace gets Federer through a tricky service game.
Federer 1-2 Sousa*
First forehand winner from Federer flies past Sousa, 30-30. Federer has a chance to pass Sousa but his backhand down the line hits the net.
*Federer 1-1 Sousa
Double fault from Federer makes it 15-30. But an ace puts him 40-30 ahead. And Sousa forehand return long gets Federer level.
Federer 0-1 Sousa*
Federer goes wide with a backhand to start the match. And a couple of return errors allows Sousa to make an encouraging start.
11:05: Federer and Sousa are on court and warming up. Federer will receive serve in the opening game.
10:55: It is all over on Court Centrale and world No 1 Osaka gets through 6-3 6-3 over Cibulkova. Up next, it’s Federer and Sousa. Finally!
10:45: ICYMI Nick Kyrgios has been spilling the tea on the likes of Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
10:25: Osaka currently leads Cibulkova by a set and break (6-3 2-1)
10:00: Rain caused chaos to the schedule on Wednesday so the winner between Federer and Sousa will play their third round match later today.
09:45: Federer and Sousa will take to the court when the match between Naomi Osaka and Dominika Cibulkova concludes.
09:30: Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Roger Federer’s second-round clash against Joao Sousa at the Italian Open.