Federer still pondering Rome entry after Madrid exit

Roger Federer said that he will leave it late before making his decision on whether he wants to take up a wild card entry at the Italian Open.

Roger Federer said he will spend the weekend deciding whether to play next week in Rome after falling to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarterfinals on Friday.

Federer, who lost 3-6, 7-6 (13/11), 6-4 to the Austrian, was back on clay this week for the first time since May 2016, when he was beaten by Thiem in Rome.

The Swiss said that he will leave it late before making his decision on whether he wants to take up a wild card entry organisers in the Italian capital have been holding back for him.

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“I had to wait and see how this match plays out today, if it was going to be 6-Love 6-Love or 7-6 in the third,” said Federer.

“Winning or losing, it all matters, so it was an early ask for me to take that decision. I wanted to keep my options open and that is why I'm in the (Rome) draw.

“I'll probably only decide on the weekend, but I'm not sure if I'm going to go,” he added.

After failing to capitalise on two match points during the second set tie-break, Federer was unable to hold off Thiem in the third, but is still happy with his display in Spain.

“I feel very good about my game. I thought I had some good matches here,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. “I feel good on the clay right now.”

With the altitude of the Spanish capital speeding up the courts to suit his game, Federer said he's glad he picked the venue for his return after skipping clay in 2017 and 2018 to concentrate on grass and hard courts.

“I had a great week, people couldn't have been friendlier to me. I thought I played good.

“It was frustrating, clearly -- losing with match points is the worst. But nevertheless, if I take a step back, it's all good.”

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