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BC-TEN--Italian Open-Federer

May 14, 2019
AP Sports Writer

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.

Federer says he was “in the mood to play,” adding “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.”

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.

Federer begins play Wednesday against either 37th-ranked Frances Tiafoe or 75th-ranked Joao Sousa.

Federer is preparing for the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.

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Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndrewDampf