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Federer: I could opt out of Rome after Thiem loss

 

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem

By Steve Simpson

Roger Federer said that he will spend the weekend deciding whether to play next week in Rome after falling to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals yesterday.

Federer, defeated 3-6 7-6 (13-11) 6-4 by the Austrian, was back on clay this week for the first time since May 2016, when he was beaten by Thiem in Rome.

The Swiss said that he will leave it late before making his decision on whether he wants to take up a wildcard entry organisers in the Italian capital have been holding back for him.

"I had to wait and see how this match played out today, if it was going to be 6-0 6-0 or 7-6 in the third," said Federer. "Winning or losing, it all matters, so it was an early ask for me to take that decision. I wanted to keep my options open and that is why I'm in the (Rome) draw.

"I'll probably only decide at the weekend, but I'm not sure if I'm going to go."

After failing to capitalise on two match points during the second set tie-break, Federer was unable to hold off Thiem in the third, but is still happy with his display in Spain.

"I feel very good about my game. I thought I had some good matches here," the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. "I feel good on the clay right now."

With the altitude of the Spanish capital speeding up the courts to suit his game, Federer said he's glad he picked the venue for his return after skipping clay in 2017 and 2018 to concentrate on grass and hard courts.

"I had a great week, people couldn't have been friendlier to me. I thought I played well," he said. "It was frustrating - losing with match points is the worst. But if I take a step back, it's all good."

Simona Halep reached her fourth Madrid Open final after defeating Belinda Bencic.

The World No.3 overcame Bencic 6-2 6-7 (2-7) 6-0 and will move back to the top of the WTA rankings with a win in today's final against Kiki Bertens.

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