Rome Draw Out: Federer and Nadal in Same Half!

[1] FEDERER, Roger (SUI) vs BYE
BAGHDATIS, Marcos (CYP) vs GULBIS, Ernests (LAT)
VOLANDRI, Filippo (ITA) vs MAYER, Florian (GER)
BENNETEAU, Julien (FRA) vs[15] QUERREY, Sam (USA)

[11] LJUBICIC, Ivan (CRO) vs MATHIEU, Paul-Henri (FRA)
ALMAGRO, Nicolas (ESP) vs KUBOT, Lukasz (POL)
BECKER, Benjamin (GER)vs LOPEZ, Feliciano (ESP)
BYE vs [8] CILIC, Marin (CRO)

[3] NADAL, Rafael (ESP) vs BYE
HANESCU, Victor (ROU) vs BERRER, Michael (GER)
ANDREEV, Igor (RUS) vs [16]MONACO, Juan (ARG)

[10] BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE) vs Qualifier
MELZER, Jurgen (AUT) vs WAWRINKA, Stanislas (SUI)
LORENZI, Paolo (ITA) vs MONTANES, Albert (ESP)
BYE vs [5] SODERLING, Robin (SWE)

[7] TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) vs BYE
TROICKI, Viktor (SRB) vs DE BAKKER, Thiemo (NED)
QUALIFIERvs [12] FERRERO, Juan Carlos (ESP)

[13] FERRER, David (ESP) vs KOROLEV, Evgeny (KAZ)
SEPPI, Andreas (ITA) vs FOGNINI, Fabio (ITA)
bye vs [4] MURRAY, Andy (GBR)

[6] VERDASCO, Fernando (ESP) vs bye
HEWITT, Lleyton (AUS) vs [9] YOUZHNY, Mikhail (RUS)

[14] ISNER, John (USA) vs ZEBALLOS, Horacio (ARG)
BYE vs [2] DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB)

I can’t remember the last time Roger and Rafa was on the same side of the draw in a tournament, can you? Well at least that gives us a better chance of seeing a continuation of the Federer/Nadal rivalry at long last. We can assume that Nadal will make the semi-finals, and Federer’s draw looks pretty decent as well. His toughest match until the semi-finals will probably come in the first round. Remember it will be his first match on clay this season and he will play the winner of Gulbis and Baghdatis. Both are talented players and Baghdatis beat Federer in Indian Wells. If he wins his first match there isn’t anyone who can really threaten him in the next round. Then in the quarter finals he will play possibly Cilic, Almagro or even Ljubicic. Again these players shouldn’t threaten him too much.

I don’t rate the eighth seed Cilic very highly on clay. It’s interesting to see that Rafa could well meet Soderling in the quarter finals, and I’m sure he is already thinking revenge for last year’s French Open shock. Either way, you would expect both Federer and Nadal to come through their respective quarters of the draw and set up a long overdue clash. And not surprisingly it will be on clay. In a way it is pretty sad that Nadal is only good enough these days to make it far enough in the clay court events to set up a meeting with Roger. The head-to-head situation is 13-7 in Nadal’s favor at the moment, and if he is to meet Federer in the semi-finals you would expect him to make it 14-7. But hey, you can always hope. As far as the bottom half of the draw goes it is pretty open. Verdasco has made his second straight clay court final at Barcelona today, which means he is the most in form player of the bottom half.

But it also means that he may run out of gas in Rome. That makes the bottom half of the draw even more open. Djokovic and Murray have been nothing special of late and I wonder if they can show that they deserve to be in the top four still. It’s a shame that Del Potro and Davydenko is still out after all this time, and Fernando Gonzalez and Andy Roddick has withdrawn as well. Well at least we have Roger back next week, and it’s about time if you ask me.

In case you didn’t know, Roger will be on the cover of ESPN magazine’s May edition. Here are some of the photos:

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  1. Some great pics of Roger – thanks – but am I alone in wondering who dreamt up the one with the petrol (gasoline) can? Isn’t it chock full of what anyone even slightly versed in Freudian imagery would instantly recognise as p*allic symbols? Array of skyscrapers, open vertical car door, petrol can itself …. can (sic) this really be a coincidence? Someone’s definitely ‘avin a larf, as they say :-)


  2. The reason why Nadal won the last tournament is because Roger wasn´t there neither of the others top players weren´t there.He has had some time off and he will play his best.I don´t know why anybody believe in Roger, I believe in him.


  3. Great to see Roger back in action @ Rome. Real curious as to how he looks on the court. Will he be rusty???


    Ru-an Reply:

    Could be for a match or two, but then again hes been working real hard.


  4. >> I can’t remember the last time Roger and Rafa was on the same side of the draw in a tournament, can you? <<

    Yes, Sir. It's easy: French Open 2005. ;-)


    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol, good point ;-)


    jason Reply:

    Yeah, it’s the last time our Rog falls on a clay GS outside the championship match.


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