World number three Roger Federer was hungry for success when he arrived in Rome for the Italian Open, ready to make amends for his shock loss to Kei Nishikori in Madrid last week.
Tennis betting news previews expected
the defending Madrid Open champion to advance past the 14th seed and into the last eight but he fell to a 6-4 1-6 6-2 defeat.
It was Federer's first clay-court tournament of 2013 and his first appearance on any surface since Indian Wells at the start of March. He looked rusty in the third-round tie in the Spanish capital.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion conceded as much after his exit, stating he would train hard on the practice court to ensure he does not experience "these kinds of days anymore".
Federer has done just that as he prepares for another tilt at the Italian Open, an event he has never won before. He reached the final in 2003 and 2006.
"I've been practising well and I'm really hungry and motivated to play again. I hope I can play a good tournament here. That's really important for me. But first things first, I want to start well," said Federer.
To do that the Swiss must beat home hope Potito Starace in the second round. He is the clear favourite having won all six of his previous contests with the Italian – something punters wanting to use their
in-play bet offer will take note of.
Federer admitted he enjoys the clay-court season, which gives him an opportunity to visit "really nice places" across Europe.
"It's a nice swing in terms of the cities. I've really enjoyed coming here to Italy," added the 31-year-old.
"I've always got amazing fan support over the years and I couldn't be more thankful. It's definitely one of the reasons why I'm back again."