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Roger In Rome With Mirka's Blessing

Rome, Italy

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer is playing his first tournament since the birth of his second set of twins.

Roger Federer was given wife Mirka’s blessing to travel to Rome for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, less than a week after the birth of the family’s second set of twins. Lenny and Leo joined older sisters, Myla and Charlene, who are approaching five years old.

“It’s hard to leave all the family, but I’ll see them soon,” Federer told media at the Foro Italico on Tuesday. “It's the best thing in the world [being a father again], just supporting Mirka through it all and being there for her.

"Also having Myla and Charlene, my two daughters, it's been an unbelievable journey and now that my two sons, Leo and Lenny, have been born, we couldn't be more happy. It's super emotional. It's just nice being such a big family now, all together. Spending quality time together the past few weeks has been super nice.”

Hours after he had regretfully withdrawn from the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday, 6 May, Lenny and Leo were born. Federer later announced he would definitely return for Roland Garros, but would make a last-minute decision regarding Rome. He arrived in the Italian capital on Monday. 

“It happened all of sudden on Thursday,” Federer explained about the decision. “I spoke to the team, I spoke to Mirka, asked all of them what they thought I should do and they said too quickly that I should come here and play. So 'ok, if you don’t want me around, I’ll go away!'” joked the Swiss.

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“I miss them a lot already. It’s a different type of week, but I’ll get through it and I hope I can play some good tennis here.”

Federer also said he expects it won’t be long before Lenny and Leo join the rest of the family travelling on the ATP World Tour. “I'm not sure if this is going to have a bigger impact [on my career] than [when Myla and Charlene were born]. I believe the first time was more difficult to handle. It adds a lot of pressure and [requires] different organisation. Whereas I think this time around, we know what we're getting into.

"Clearly, it's going to be so much work with four kids on the road, but I feel like we're going to be able to handle it. My wife's unbelievably supportive, and she's so good with the kids. I try my best every day as well, when I can, to help. I'm there every day, always with the kids, and I see them so often. It's something I'm really going to look forward to, spending this quality time with them, as we travel the world and are in different countries and cities. It's going to be actually very exciting.”

The 32-year-old Federer is set to play his first tournament since finishing runner-up to Stanislas Wawrinka at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters four weeks ago. The right-hander is looking to win his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown with his first victory at the Foro Italico, where he was runner-up in 2013 (l. to Nadal), 2006 (l. to Nadal) and 2003 (l. to Mantilla).

“I’ve been able to train very hard actually,” said Federer, who has been on the practice court with rising Australian star Nick Kyrgios. “After Monaco I took some time off and trained really hard in Switzerland. In terms of tennis, I expect a lot from myself. I’ve come here with less pressure, enjoying it, and hoping to stay in the tournament rhythm. I’ve had a good start to the season and I just want to keep the momentum on my side.”

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