It Has Begun, the Final Run-Up to Roland Garros is Underway!

Hey, folks. So Rome is underway which means things are really starting to heat up as we get closer to the main event in the clay court season which is, of course, the French Open. It is a good time to assess the form of the Djoker and Nadal who are still the two main favorites in Paris as far as I’m concerned. 

  • Djokovic Off to Rusty Start in Rome

The Djoker played his first match today after his two-week break against Almagro, and although he got off to a flying start, he looked slightly rusty in a 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 victory. Obviously in the first set he was just resuming where he left off in Monte Carlo, but in the second set he collapsed in the tie-break after leading 5-2. In the third set, he got his act together as he broke at 4-3 and then served out the match at 5-3. I doubt he would have minded the extra court time. It would have given him some more time to shake off the rust.

proxy (1)

  • Will Rome’s Outcome Determine Nadal’s Fate in Paris?

Tomorrow is Nadal’s turn as he will play his first match against Marcel Ilhan from Turkey, who incidentally I just saw practiced with Roger today. I was quick to make a big thing of Nadal’s loss to Murray in my last post, but in all honesty it is not that big a deal. In fact, he made progress in Madrid after his loss to Fognini in Barcelona. After all the losses he suffered it will take time, to get his confidence back to his previous levels and he is slowly but surely getting there.

Whether he will be back to those levels in time to win the French Open again is another question, but he is definitely improving. Before losing to the Djoker in Monte Carlo and Murray in Madrid he was basically back to his best. For him, it is now only a question of stabilizing his best level, and once he accomplishes that he will be unstoppable again. So it is a race against time and I am hoping someone can stop him again in Rome, but I think it’s unlikely that it will happen before the final.

CEz7eOoWoAAyPJB

Will be a key factor if Djokovic is to break the Paris curse…

I feel like Nadal is now close to his best and that the Djoker is probably the only guy who can stop him on the slow clay of Rome. And as long as that happens then I think there is a chance Nadal may not win in Paris. I still feel like he needs a tournament win because that will really boost his confidence. He has never won the French Open without winning a clay event beforehand. He is a big favorite no matter what, but I feel if he wins Rome then he will basically be unstoppable again.

  • What Does Rome Mean for Federer and Murray?

After the Djoker and Nadal, my favorites for the French Open is Roger and Murray. What significance does Rome carry for each of them if any? Roger has already said that he is ready for the French Open whether he plays Rome or not, and with his titles in Munich and Madrid Murray probably feels the same. Was it even worth it for them to play Rome? In Murray’s case, I would have understood if he needed a break after two straight weeks of tennis, but for Roger I felt it was necessary.

CEuttkiW0AAIiXb

Why? I think after finding his clay form in Istanbul and then losing his first match in Madrid, Roger could benefit from playing Rome. And that is why he did. But my feeling is he doesn’t like the conditions in Rome much and he must feel like he is cursed there after the way he lost in finals to Mantilla and Nadal, both going to a deciding set tie-break. One of the things I am most looking forward to this week is to see whether he can at least make the semis and face Nadal if he is there.

Given his recent form you would hope he can, but of course Berdych is a big obstacle. Roger begins tomorrow against his final opponent from Istanbul, Cuevas. That will already be tough, and Anderson if already waiting for him in the third round if he wins. As for Murray, he begins tomorrow against Chardy and his draw looks decent. I’d love to see him and the Djoker square off in the semis. In the bottom half, I’m unsure because a match with Roger may just be what Nadal needs at this point for his confidence.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

CEvQxmNWoAEkmNs

Today Kyrgios already lost to Lopez, but it’s gonna be interesting to see if he can beat any big names in Paris. Thiem played yesterday and had a good 7-6(4), 7-6(5) win over local favorite Bolelli. He plays Simon tomorrow who he has already beaten before so I hope he can do so again. The winner of that match plays Stan who is already through to the next round after coming back from a set down against Monaco. Finally, Nishikori will start his Rome campaign against Vesely.

Many interesting matches tomorrow!

  • Highlights

  • Match Stats

CE0YqriWAAATJYx

Come to think of it, these are damn good!

The is in your court.

Posted in Masters 1000.

15 Comments

  1. Right after watching the highlights…new factor. Either it’s the conditions or the balls are flying on these courts in Rome. Renewed hope for fed.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You think so? I didn’t notice but if it’s true I’m still lowering my expectations for Roger in Rome.

    [Reply]

  2. I think Roger should give it a go versus Nadal in the semis. But more importantly he should try to get some solid wins under his belt. Anyway Berdych will bow to Nadal here so might as well be Roger instead.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. Nadal owns him anyway so there is nothing to lose. He should gun for semis and settle for no less.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    The only downside is that nadal get his way again and faces roger only on his terms.

    [Reply]

  3. Fedal matches have become such a rarity these days. I wouldn’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen this time either. If it happens then no matter how bad Nadal plays he’ll probably still win. Roger should have Murray-like attitude(in Madrid final) if they meet. There have been numerous occasions when Nadal has won against Roger even though he’s playing his 50%. H2H will be 24-10 and 14-2 on clay. Nadal will further cement the fact that he gets to play Fed only on his preferred surface and conditions. So nothing much to lose for Fed anyway. Also I guess it’s better to gauge his form against another member of big-3 before FO.

    [Reply]

  4. ^:)^

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ha. It’s too small I have to remove it. See what I have to deal with here?

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I’m sure you’ll sort out the site at some point.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I made it bigger but look how retarded it looks now.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fixed B-)

    [Reply]

  5. Dimitrov really needs go have a good look at himself. This partnership with Rasheed is going nowhere. And his points are dropping left and right.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, I was never a Rasheed fan. I think he’s the worst coach on tour.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Yeah he seems more like a fitness freak than a proper tennis coach,

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly. He is a fitness coach. He has no business coaching technique or tactics.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *