Roger Federer made new Italian Open request to tournament director

Federer only agreed to entered the Italian Open if he could have an afternoon session for his opening match.

However, the Swiss star instead contacted the organisers to change his demand for the first slot of the day.

That is according to tennis pundit Daniela Hantuchova, who believes only Federer’s own choice would have given him a rare 10am (BST) start time.

Rain is expected to batter the Italian Open today, causing a headache for the schedulers.

And Hantuchova thinks Federer opted to play first so that his match would not be carried over the Thursday and therefore avoiding playing twice in one day.

“That is interesting because part of the deal of Roger coming here is because the tournament director promised him a Wednesday afternoon start,” Hantuchova told Amazon Prime.

“It is probably because of the weather forecast he has requested a different scenario here.

“He came in [yesterday] around 9am to get a hit to that’s a very interesting scheduling.

“I’m sure fans won’t mind. They are going to have super class tennis all day long.”

The Italian Open has a stacked field with all of the top players competing today.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic follow Federer on centre court.

Juan Martin del Potro is also making his long-awaited return from injury.

Nick Kyrgios and Madrid Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas also compete on the outer courts

“Is this the best schedule you have ever seen in this tournament?” Hantuchova added.

“This is like the quarter-finals of a Slam.”

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