Published On: Wed, May 15th, 2019

Roger Federer vs Joao Sousa LIVE: SIX HOUR Italian Open delay, no play before 4.30pm | Tennis | Sport

Federer made a late decision to play in Rome, in a bid to get more matches under his belt ahead of the French Open.

The Swiss looked in good form at the Madrid Open before being beaten by Dominic Thiem and he says he’s keen to get going again on the clay.

“I think it always goes back to the fact that I did grow up on this surface. Sliding is something I actually enjoy doing,” said Federer.

“The problem is, like, the more time I spend on clay, maybe sometimes the more excited I get playing on the surface, start sliding around too much instead of actually moving sometimes like on the hard courts and only sliding when really required.

“I think this week, then next week in Paris, it’s going to be interesting to see how I play the points, how I do it all. In Madrid, like we said, conditions were extremely fast, so you could play serve and volley, you could come to the net.

“Here maybe it’s easier to play drop shots, easier maybe to go backhands up the line. On fast courts it’s maybe not so simple to do that at will.

“I must say also in practice in Switzerland I felt good right away. Very happy where I’m at, to be quite honest. I was a bit surprised that it went as easy as it did.”


16:30: Some reports play could be postponed today very soon. Second round matches would be played on Thursday, third round and quarters on Friday. But we are awaiting confirmation on this.

16:00: STILL NO TENNIS!!! *shakes fist angrily*

15:30: UPDATE: No play before 4.30pm BST.

14:55: Apparently there is still optimism about some play today. But that’s largely due to an effort to ensure no refunds need to be given.

If true, that’s disappointing from the organisers.

14:30: UPDATE: No play before 3.30pm BST *sighs*.

13:50: UPDATE: No play before 2.30pm BST.

13:25: While we wait for Roger Federer, Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou has had some interesting things to say about the Swiss.

13:05: UPDATE: We have a revised order of play from the organisers. Federer is still due to play Joao Sousa. Followed by Rafael Nadal vs Jeremy Chardy. Seven doubles matches have been cancelled. Djokovic is down to play Denis Shapovalov at around 6.30pm BST. Juan Martin del Potro vs David Goffin has been moved to Stadio Pietrangeli. Kei Nishikori vs Taylor Fritz is now on Court 2.

12:40: UPDATE: No play before 2pm BST.

12:30: Some controversy brewing in Rome over possible refunds for fans. It appears the Italian Open policy is that if just one point is played, refunds won’t be issued.

Spare a thought for those fans who bought the Federer tickets when the price was doubled by the organisers!

12:10: UPDATE: No play before 1pm BST.

11:50: Still raining in Rome unfortunately. But while you wait, Federer has been talking about his aims for this week.

11:10: UPDATE: No play before 12:15pm BST.

11:05: With the delay to play, it could have major repercussions on when matches are played. The likes of Novak Djokovic may have to play twice on Thursday!

10:40: UPDATE: No play before 11:30am BST.

10:25: Some reports suggesting play won’t take place until after 12pm BST now. As soon as I know more, I’ll let you know…

10:05: UPDATE: No play expected until after 10.30am BST.

09:50: The first pictures from Rome are emerging and it is not looking good. All the courts are covered and the rain is falling heavily. But stick with us, we’ll give you continued updates as we await play.

09:30: Rain is expected to play a role today with showers expected in Rome. Fortunately, tennis can still be played on clay in the rain. But not too much!

09:15: Federer had requested a Wednesday afternoon start but the organisers have opted to put him in the first match of the day. The Swiss very rarely plays in the opening game of the day’s schedule

09:00: Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Roger Federer’s second-round clash against Joao Sousa at the Italian Open.

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