Rome Draw

[1] Nadal v Bye
[Q] Lorenzi v Bellucci
Lopez v Llodra
Kohlschreiber v [14] Youzhny
[11] Fish v Giraldo
Ljubicic v Cipolla
Cilic v Karlovic
[6] Ferrer v Bye

[3] Federer v Bye
Baghdatis v Tsonga
[Q] Andreev v [Q] Riba
Montanes v [16] Gasquet
[10] Monfils v [Q] Nishikori
[Q] Hanescu v Stakhovsky
Monaco v Seppi
[6] Berdych v Bye

[8] Melzer v Bye
Mayer v Golubev
Chela v Isner
Simon v [12] Roddick
[15] Troicki v Davydenko
Starace v Dolgopolov
Malisse v Garcia-Lopez
[4] Murray v Bye

[5] Soderling v Bye
Verdasco v Raonic
Anderson v Querrey
Bolelli v [9] Almagro
[14] Wawrinka v Fognini
Volandri v De Bakker
[Q] Cuevas v [Q] Kubot
[2] Djokovic v Bye

http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2011/416/mds.pdf

As I have already said before, Roger is in Nadal’s half of the draw, which is a bit of a shame. But after Djokovic’s performance on Sunday, you have to say it doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matter is the head-to-head, which can be more damaged for Roger if he meets Nadal in the semis of Rome. Roger is playing against Tsonga tomorrow. Tsonga had a decent showing in Madrid, even though clay isn’t his best surface. Roger should be ok I think. If he wins he plays Gasquet. Again he should be fine, if you look at how he played in Madrid. Then he will probably play Monfils or Berdych in the quarters. I feel pretty confident that Roger will make semis here again. Then he will surely face Nadal again, who has to be a bit tired at this point. It wouldn’t have done Nadal’s confidence the world of good to lose to Djokovic in Madrid either.

Does Roger actually have a chance here?! It has to be said that it is slower conditions than Madrid, which won’t exactly be in Roger’s favor. So in the end I would say that Nadal is still the clear favorite should they meet again. It would be nice if Roger can give him another tough match however, tiring him out just a little more. Nadal has played a lot of tennis of late, and I won’t be surprised if he gets upset in Rome or Roland Garros. I think it was a mistake of him to play Madrid. It was always the one clay event that Djokovic could beat him at, and now his confidence has taken a hit while Djokovic has gotten a boost. Nadal should have skipped Madrid. That way he would have been fresh for Rome and the French Open, where even Djokovic would have found it very hard to beat him. By getting a straight set victory over Nadal in  Madrid, Djokovic is now smelling blood.

Nadal isn’t invincible on clay anymore. Djokovic will believe that he can beat Nadal at Rome and Paris now. As for Roger, he still believes that he can get the number one ranking back. You can read about it here. Roger remains optimistic as ever, even though it will be hard for him to return to the top now. No one really expected Djokovic to play this well. He can now be number one after the French Open. Roger is still some way behind. He will have to make final or semis in Paris and win Wimbledon I would think to stand a chance. Winning a major always makes a big difference, especially given that Roger lost in the quarters at Wimbledon last year. He has his chances to make up points, but he can’t lose much from here on until the end of Wimbledon. Even then it will be hard to get the number one spot back.

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13 Comments

  1. I think Roger is going to get better and better and better with every aspect of his game. I believe that he will win Wimbledon and possibly the U.S. Open and maybe one Masters.I know this sounds far-fetched but if he continues to play more and more aggressively and maintains his form anything is possible. I find that Federer has always believed in himself and with his exceptional talent and desire, who knows what surprises lie in store for us. This a great time for Federer because now he really will have to fight to win and usually in those situations, the underdog prevails which in turn just might catapult Roger to number one for a short while. Roger surprised everyone at the World Finals last year and he is going to surprise us again this year. I have a lot of respect for an athlete that puts his reputation on the line to try to achieve even more difficult challenges. A lot of guys would be happy with walking away with his record of now but he feels he has what it takes to achieve more despite his age.

    [Reply]

    Laureen Reply:

    Hi,
    I agree with every word you say, my reply maybe short and sweet but I have faith and I believe in Roger as long as he believes in himself and enjoys tennis,he will come up with some surprises for all.Keep up the wonderful tennis Roger.

    [Reply]

  2. As much as we want him back on top, its going to be a tall order. The tour is now talking about Djoker and Nadal. His draw is getting tougher now. At this juncture, he remains positive and continue to push himself. Hopefully he can start winning some tournaments.

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  3. I agree with you. Roger should make the semis here. But it is still too early to write off Nadal. The guy always seems to bring his A-game in Paris.
    ..
    However it is great to see a guy beating Nadal at his own game, on his own terms. Conditions in Rome are slower than Madrid, but definitely faster than Roland Garros.
    ..

    BTW, did anyone catch the Verdasco-Soderling match? I hate to laugh at another guy’s plight but it was incredibly funny to see Fernando melt down at 5-4, 40-0 with 3 match points. Weirdest match I’ve ever seen.

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  4. Federer was experimenting on court, trying out various tactics. Some worked, others didn’t. It didn’t quite gel this time.

    But I think with more time, more practice, and more matches, he will sort it out and it will come together. He isn’t that far from his best tennis, and I still think he could well win Grand Slam #17 on the red clay this year.

    At Federer’s age, most players would have exhausted their bag of tricks: they would have already realized their full potential and wouldn’t have anything really new to show us. They would be stagnating, and just be mechanically going through the motions.

    But Federer is just now really exploring the depths of what he can do. We are seeing tantalizing glimpses of what he’ll ultimately be able to achieve.

    Clay poses a really interesting challenge for him. On fast hard courts he can play first-strike, blitz tennis–which is the way he instinctively plays– and overwhelm his opponent.

    Not so on clay; he must curb his instincts and be much more patient in working the points; changing the pace, moving his opponent forward and backward (not just laterally), and using every bit of space he can find and every angle he can create to get an opening to hit a winner or to come forward to the net.

    I felt there was a lot to digest about that semi in Madrid, that multiple viewings would reveal a lot more richness. Certainly, much of what he tried will be discarded as he finds what works best and what doesn’t–but even that is interesting, just to see what doesn’t work, and why it doesn’t work.

    Even though the results are not yet complete, this process of experimentation and development makes for absorbing tennis. It makes one realize how much work he had to put in in order to hone his game and master its complexities in his early days. It’s remarkable that he’s still so hungry and determined to improve at this point in his career, and a testament to his character and champion’s heart.

    [Reply]

  5. Great post Ru-an.

    Why does Nadal always get lucky!!? He missed Del Potro in the last tournament. He misses Bellucci here. A conspiracy or he’s just very very lucky??

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Meh, Nadals draw doesnt matter. We want him tired anyway. Besides, look whats happening against Lorenzi.

    [Reply]

    TD Reply:

    We said it before – Nadal made a mistake playing in Barcelona. Last year he had no opposition and still skipped it to give himself fuel for more important events. He already paid for it in Madrid. If he fights to get to final here, he won’t win both the FO and Wimbledon this year. Federer should be there to collect the points.

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  6. Wow I thought Roger played great today! Am watching the match now and he’s hitting the ball even better off his backhand side than his forehand! Bring on the next Frenchman!

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  7. Completely agree Andrew. Awesome performance today, with the only exceptions being some lapses at net and, of course, uncoverted break points. But otherwise I think he played even better than the last time these two met, in Doha, which is also when JesusFed last appeared (well, also in the first round and a bit of AO). His play today bodes very well… Of course, the “next Frenchman” is in the best form he’s shown in quite a while as well, so should be a good test for Fed.

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  8. I very actively watch tennis for some years now, by actively I mean every big ATP tournament from the very beginning to the final, and I’ve been thinking the same thing.

    I neither have proof, no do I look for one, but not to suspect them is just ignorant. They all must use something which makes them play flawless. Look at Federer’s sharpness for so many years? How does one play cool and sharp like that for so much time? Ok there is much training involved I get it, but consistently for so many years?

    Again we have Nadal and his physique. Do I have to say more? He is the superhuman of all tennis era.
    Also it’s not only this post, there are a lot of info on the net suspecting the tennis world of doping, and there are reasons to do so.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well Roger is a huge talent and plays economical tennis. Its not hard to believe that he is not doping. Nadal and Djokovic play much more physical games.

    [Reply]

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