Italian Open: Federer kept waiting as rain delays Rome start

Roger Federer reveals Madrid struggles 'It's a tough place to play in'

Roger Federer reveals Madrid struggles 'It's a tough place to play in'

The Swiss was originally scheduled to take on Sousa at 11am (0900 GMT) on Wednesday but was among dozens of players kept waiting in crowded locker rooms and lounges, as organisers angered fans with a "no refund" policy after doubling ticket prices for Wednesday to reap the financial benefits of Federer's return to the venue. "Regardless of what happens here, I just think it's good for me to play matches at this stage", Federer added.

"Honestly, I love to play matches". I literally played this way when I beat you the other previous times and nothing changed.

However the dual ATP-WTA clay showpiece will restart at 10am (0800 GMT) on Thursday, after a frustrating day that saw starting times regularly delayed until play was officially abandoned at 8pm (1800 GMT). He said the cool weather at home also convinced him to make the trip to Rome. I felt like playing maybe more sea-level conditions would be good for me.

Kyrgios used a podcast at the Rome Masters as the platform to reveal his disdain for Novak Djokovic's "cringeworthy" post-match celebrations and Rafael Nadal's "super salty" double standards.

"I'm so far away in the draw", Federer said of a possible semifinal matchup with his longtime rival. "Rafa gets me vexed, as well".

In it Kyrgios acknowledged he did the "least work of anyone on tour", hinted that tennis had taken him to some "dark places", and said there was "no chance" that he would ever be able to become a player who performed consistently. When he announced on Saturday that he was coming to Rome, Italian Open organizers raised prices for remaining tickets to Wednesday's session.

When questioned Federer expressed sympathy, while stopping short of a full blown condemnation: 'I heard some fans clearly were not happy about it. That's obviously disappointing to hear.

"We want to reward fans who had bought tickets before they knew Federer would play". There would be excitement, more excitement than me coming to a practice court in Switzerland.

However, Federer found the explanation hard to swallow. In the memorable 2006 Italian Open final, Federer lost in a fifth-set tiebreaker to Nadal. Federer has made the final of this tournament on 4 occasions but he has never won the title.

"Always enjoyed playing in Italy".

"If I had that, Jesus, I'd probably have a couple of Grand Slam (titles) already", he said. "They have very strong junior tournaments here".