Roger Federer will be bringing his growing family with him to the upcoming French Open after a poor showing at the Rome Masters.
Fresh of the birth of his second set of twins, the Swiss star suffered a shock defeat by Frenchman Jeremy Chardy at the second round of the Masters 1000 event in the Italian capital.
It was hardly the ideal preparation for Roland Garros where the 32-year-old will be hoping to bag a second title. The dominance of Rafael Nadal on clay has somewhat narrowed the opportunity for success in Paris, Federer took advantage of his only ever loss at the tournament in 2009 to complete his Career Slam.
The current world no.4 is tennis' most successful ever Grand Slam singles player with 17 titles - winning Wimbledon in 2009 saw him surpass Pete Sampras' record of 14. However he is without a major win since 2012 and focus is switching more towards his wife Mirka and their newborns Leo and Lenny, their birth follows Myla and Charlene's back in 2009.
Federer now admits that he would like his large family with him in France.
"We hope that we can all make it together to Paris," he said to the Telegraph before falling to Chardy.
"My plan is that they can also come on tour, and this time around at least we kind of know how to handle kids on the road. That was quite a challenge I must say [with Myla and Charlene], early on. Especially after they were one year old, when they started to become much more mobile and walking around a lot.
"I’m aware it’s going to be a lot of work. But this is not a time where anybody needs to feel sorry for me or get worried. It’s super-exciting. With Myla and Charlene just being there and being with them, observing, just doing it all together, it’s so cool. I’m really looking forward to it all, and the future is beautiful.”
This year has been a tough one for Federer. Given his own extremely high standards, a single title win in Dubai back in February is short of where he would like to be.
He has been on the end of three final defeats in 2014, which also follows a tough time in 2013 too. Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt won in Brisbane, just before the Australian Open in which the Swiss star lost Nadal in a straight-sets semi-final contest.
World no.2 Novak Djokovic won a thriller at Indian Wells, but the one that would have surely hurt most was at the Monte Carlo Masters. Compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka had stolen the tag of being Switzerland's best before he added insult to injury by winning in the principality.
Defeat to Wawrinka proved to be his last action before being shocked in three sets by Chardy, the right-hander withdrew from the Madrid Open last week shortly before Leo and Lenny's birth.
Federer does have some positives ahead of the French Open though.
None of tennis' traditional big four - which also consists of Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray - have been firing on all cylinders recently, although all are still in-tact in Rome.
Question marks remain over Nadal's form after the world no.1 fell in quarter-finals at his usual strongholds of Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He did triumph in Madrid last week, but that was largely down to the injury of finalist Kei Nishikori who won the first set.
Djokovic, similarly, withdrew from the action in the Spanish capital last week down to a recurring arm injury. While Murray was also on the wrong-end of an unexpected loss at the event.
With the likes of Nishikori challenging the top stars of the sport, the French Open and Wimbledon look set to be interesting affairs. Federer will be hoping the support of his family will see him add to his huge haul of trophies this summer.
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