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Federer 'Hungry And Motivated' In Rome

Rome, Italy

World No. 3 Roger Federer enters the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in completely different fashion than a year ago in Rome. The Swiss superstar is eager to get back on the court and succeed, having fallen in the third round of his clay-court season debut last week as the defending Mutua Madrid Open champion.

“I've been practising well and I'm really hungry and motivated to play again. I hope I can play a good tournament here,” said Federer. “That's really important for me. But first things first, I want to start well.  

“It's totally different to last year, where I arrived at the last minute in Rome with the victory in Madrid. I was carrying a little bit of an injury with me and said, 'ok let's see how Rome goes' and I played in the semis. It is a totally different preparation this time around. I arrived much earlier, because of my [third]-round loss in Madrid.”

Federer is bidding to lift the trophy at the Foro Italico for the first time. He reached the final in 2003 and 2006 and is attempting to claim his 11th tour-level title on clay.

“The clay-court swing in Europe is very different to playing in America, in Asia or the indoor season. The weather changes a lot,” Federer said. 

“It can be windy, gusty, wet, or really hot, so you don't know what you're going to get. You can get lucky or unlucky in the process. But we are visiting really nice places. It's a nice swing in terms of the cities. I've really enjoyed coming here to Italy. I've always got amazing fan support over the years and I couldn't be more thankful. It's definitely one of the reasons why I'm back again.”

The 31-year-old Federer will face Italy’s Potito Starace in his opener. The No. 2 seed has won all six of his previous encounters with Starace.

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