Federer may miss Rome Masters

ROME - Following a surprise defeat to Gael Monfils in the Monte-Carlo Masters, Roger Federer has said he may skip the Rome Masters in the run up to Roland Garros. Defending champion, Novak Djokovic is expected to play in Rome, along with fellow superstars Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

 In the aftermath of his exit in Monaco, Federer acknowledged that losing to Monfils in just his third clay court match of the new season was a disappointment but was relaxed about the month ahead.

 "The important thing is to play well in practice and to play many sets," he said in an interview. "I'll be able to see what works and what doesn't work. We will analyse the practice I had on clay.”

 The Swiss veteran skipped the Miami Masters at the end of March in order to be fully prepared for the run up to the second major of the year at Paris’ Roland Garros, but has confirmed that he may also miss the Internazionali BNL d’Italia event which is held annually in Rome during mid-May.

 I'm playing Istanbul, Madrid,” said Federer. “We'll see what happens with Rome. It was never sure I was going to play that anyway."

 Meanwhile the defending Rome champion Novak Djokovic, picked up the Monte-Carlo title for the second time in three years on Sunday, beating Tomas Berdych in the final. Djokovic, who has looked in imperious form so far this season, beat the clay court expert Rafael Nadal, in straight sets at the semi-final stage.

 Nadal had an impressive second half of the season in 2014, but has been struggling for form so far this term after returning from an operation on his back. The two great rivals are planning to be present in Rome once again this year, and it would be a brave man to bet against one of the two taking home the title, given that between them, they have won the last 10 editions.