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Federer: “I only decided to play after the warm-up.”

This content was published 7 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Roger Federer was brutally honest after he had beaten Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-5 to make the Rome third round. The Swiss great has been nursing a back injury and made the latest of decisions to play at the Foro Italico.

“I played cautious, and I only decided after the warm-up that I was actually going to play,” he explained. “So for me it was a big match on many levels.”

Federer revealed he has still not even decided whether to play his third round match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who beat Joao Sousa, with another late call expected, let alone think about the prospect of winning this tournament for a first time.

“I was expecting to lose in straight sets today,” he said. “That was the mindset going in, so to win in straights is actually a really big surprise to me.

“In terms of information, looking ahead for next few weeks, regardless if I’m going to play tomorrow or not, this was something I feel like I needed to do to get a sense of where I’m at. It would have been easy not to play and then just be unsure how I was going to feel in Paris.

“So at some point you have to go out there and see how it feels, and I’m happy I was able to play a full match without any setbacks.

“I don’t know how I’m going to feel tomorrow. It’s baby steps right now. So to even think of tomorrow is already a big ask.

“t would be wonderful to win, but not this year.  It won’t happen. I’m too far off. I’m so far off that it won’t happen.

“But of course maybe next year. Maybe sometime down the road. I don’t know. But I would have loved to win it. Unfortunately, it never happened. So I’m just happy to be playing again in the tournament this year, but the goals are more realistic this year.”

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