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Week 22: Will Rafael Nadal win his 12th French Open?
Federer kept waiting as rain delays Rome start
16 May 2019, 09:10 | Henrietta Morgan
Italian Open: Roger Federer criticises ticket prices in Rome
Switzerland's tennis star Roger Federer, a four-time finalist in Rome, returns to Italy after skipping the clay season for the last two years as he concentrated on his grass game. That's why he added this week's Italian Open to his schedule.
"For me personally - I don't care right now, I've come this far - I feel like he just wants to be liked so much that I just can't stand him".
"Honestly, I love to play matches". No matter how many grand slams he wins, he will never be the greatest for me. I love this city.
Looking at this fixture, I am going to pick Roger Federer to win this match.
"I felt like playing somewhat maybe more sea level conditions would be good for me", Federer said.
He has a first-round bye as the number three seed, and will begin his tournament against either American Frances Tiafoe or Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, respective first and second seeds in the Association of Tennis Professionals men's event, were also waiting to play their matches against Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Jeremy Chardy of France.
"Guys like that. See how angry I'm getting?"
Federer is preparing for the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.
Last week in Madrid Federer reached the quarter-finals, losing to Thiem.
When he announced on Saturday that he was coming to Rome, Italian Open organizers raised prices for remaining tickets to Wednesday's session.
"I heard some fans clearly were not happy about it".
The 20-time Grand Slam victor had reached the finals of Italian Open in 2003, 2006, 2013 and 2015.
They later told disappointed Wednesday ticket holders to come back for free on Thursday, before appearing to open the door for refunds to those who could not make it.
"Look, I just really hope it doesn't take away the fact I'm really happy to be here".
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"And I'm like, 'What are you talking about?' I literally played this way when I beat you the other previous times and nothing changed, nothing changed".
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Injured Serena Williams withdraws from Rome
The American, 37, was set to play sister Venus Williams in the second round but said she would be "concentrating on rehab" now. It wasn't immediately clear if Serena would recover in time to play the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.
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Serena, Venus Williams clash in Rome
But it worked and it paid off. "I feel really sad about it, but I will do everything possible to recover as quick as I can". Tenth seed Serena started her clay-court season with a commanding 6-4 6-2 over Rebecca Peterson at the Foro Italico.
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