Roger Federer plays Joao Sousa in the second round of the ATP 1000 Masters in Rome on Wednesday, May 15. This match will be played on Wednesday, May 15, not before 11.30 am local time (10.30 am BST) at the Center Court. Get Roger Federer v Joao Sousa live streaming options here.
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Roger Federer v Joao Sousa Head to Head
The two players have only met once on the ATP circuit, in 2014 at Halle, on grass. Federer won in three sets after losing the first in a tiebreaker.
Federer Looking to Sharpen Game on Clay
Roger Federer returns to the ATP Masters 1000 at Rome after a three-year hiatus. Federer was initially only expected to play at the Madrid Masters and the French Open during the clay swing.
However, a positive start at Madrid, followed by a quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem, earlier than Federer would have hoped for, has resulted in him looking to get some more practice on the clay before the French Open.
Federer will be looking for a good run at Rome, more so because the conditions are similar to the French Open. Federer settled in well at Madrid, with the slightly faster courts and the altitude, working in his favor.
Federer has a challenging draw at Rome, being in the same half as Rafael Nadal, clay court specialist Dominic Thiem, and the ‘Next Gen’ members like Boran Coric and Stefanos Tsitsipas, both of whom have performed well on the clay.
Can Sousa Trouble Federer on Clay?
Portugal’s Joao Sousa was ranked in the top 30 in 2016, and although his ranking has since fallen to number 70 on the ATP circuit, he continues to be an opponent with a positive mindset and aggressive game that can unsettle many a top ranked player. With an aggressive serve and forehand, Sousa’s game is better suited for the faster courts. However, two of his three titles have been won on clay, including the 2018 Estoril Open, in Portugal
Sousa has trained with Rafael Nadal in the offseason on a few occasions and has been regarded by both Nadal and Novak Djokovic, as capable of bringing out the best in the opponent with the ability to attack and mix it up with a variety of shots.
Sousa played American Frances Tiafoe in the first round in a back-and -forth match that Sousa won in the final set tiebreaker.
Federer v Sousa Predictions & Tips
The match-up is interesting, with Sousa being an attacking player who will look to take it to Federer early on, with the Swiss still settling down to the conditions and surface. Sousa will be aware that once Federer gets into his rhythm, he will we hard to unsettle. Expect a good battle, but hard to envision this not going Federer’s way. Federer to win in two competitive sets.
Tip: Games Handicap: Sousa +5.5: 8/11 (888Sport)