11 May 2019: Roger Federer faces tough battle at Rome Open: Details here
As per the draw announced on Friday, Federer could be set for a tough battle against top-stars, from the quarters stage itself.
With this being the final ATP Masters before the French Open, things would get intense.
Notably, Federer got knocked out of the Madrid Open on Friday.
Madrid heart-break: Federer suffers heart-break in Madrid
Federer, who was off to a flier in Madrid, could not keep up with the momentum.
Having beaten Richard Gasquet in the opening match 6-2, 6-3, he put up a tough show against France's Gael Monfils, beating him 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3).
However, it was Thiem halted his progress in the quarters, as the former beat him 3-6, 7-6 (13-11), 6-4.
Semis trouble: Federer could face Nadal in semis, Djokovic/Zverev in final
While Federer is expected to have a smooth start to his Rome campaign, things would get tough from the quarters.
As per the draw, Federer is expected to clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarters.
Provided he overcomes the hurdle, King of Clay Rafael Nadal would await him in the semis.
In the final, it could be either of Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev.
Projected line-up: A star-studded quarter-final line-up could await
If things go as planned, an interesting and star-studded quarter-finals action could await the tennis fans in Rome.
Here are the possible quarter-finals fixtures:
Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro
Alexander Zverev vs Kei Nishikori
Roger Federer vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem
Fact: Federer unsure of Rome Open participation
"I wanted to keep my options open and that is why I'm in the (Rome) draw. I'll probably only decide on the weekend, but I'm not sure if I'm going to go," Federer spoke on his chances to play in Rome.
Author's take: Federer possibly nursing injury, should not risk himself further
While Federer's Madrid ouster comes as a shock, it was revealed by him this week that he is nursing a back problem.
This does put his Rome Open participation in doubt, as the author feels he should not risk himself, especially with French Open just around the corner,
Although this would limit his clay-court preparations, it is wise to stay fit for Roland Garros.