ROME (AP) — At 37 and with 20 Grand Slam titles, Roger Federer still gets excited about playing tennis.
That’s why he added this week’s Italian Open to his schedule.
“I was in the mood to play,” Federer said Tuesday after a practice session on the Foro Italico’s Campo Centrale. “Would I rather practice or play matches? … There would be excitement, more excitement than me coming to a practice court in Switzerland.
“Honestly, I love to play matches. Regardless of what happens here, I just think it’s good for me to play matches at this stage,” Federer added.
After reaching the Madrid Open quarterfinals last week upon his return to clay after a two-year absence, Federer went to Switzerland. He said the cool weather at home also convinced him to make the trip to Rome.
“I felt like playing somewhat maybe more sea level conditions would be good for me,” Federer said.
Federer begins play Wednesday against either 37th-ranked Frances Tiafoe or 75th-ranked Joao Sousa. He’s in the same half of the draw as eight-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal.
“I’m so far away in the draw,” Federer said of a possible…