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Federer gets bye in Rome but tough tests loom

Tennis ace Roger Federer will be facing a challenging slate of competitors at the Rome Masters tournament.

The tournament’s top-seeded player has received a bye for the first round. He will play his first match against Argentine player Guillermo Cañas, who has won three of five meetings between the two.

If Federer, who remains the world’s top-ranked player, moves on he is likely to face on-court nemesis and three-time tournament champion, Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard, who has humbled Federer in seven of their last eight meetings on clay courts, last beat the Swiss star in an error-filled final of the Monte Carlo Masters in late April.

Federer has earned close to $40 million (SFr42.16 million) in prize money over his ten-year professional career but has been plagued by ill health and a string of losses in 2008.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR