Hey guys! I was delighted to hear yesterday that Roger decided to play Rome, as I thought he would. We have waited a long time to see Roger back in action after Miami, and it would have been a bit sad if he withdrew from Rome. It’s also good to know he is fit, and the two days rest would have done him good. Apparently it did because he put in another efficient performance today, winning in 69 minutes. Roger is a master at saving his energy for later rounds, not only in slams but also in the smaller events. Playing two events in two weeks is tough because even though it’s best of three sets, you play almost every day. It becomes even more important now that Roger did not play Monte Carlo because he is well rested.
As far as scheduling goes Roger is also the GOAT. He gets it right invariably. His draw looks good here and he can easily win the rest of his matches in straight sets, which would save him energy for a semi with Djokovic. His next match is against Ferrero and then he plays the winner of Wawrinka and Seppi, who beat Isner 7-5 in the third today. I thought Isner might be a tough opponent if he got to the quarters, but it should be obvious by now that he is overrated on clay. To get back to today’s match, I was not able to watch it due to a dentist appointment. I did catch some highlights on TV and Youtube though. We are back on the red clay and I can’t say that I’ve missed it. It’s slow and the ball is harder to see on it. Also I don’t like the camera angle that they broadcast Rome from.
The camera is too low which doesn’t give you the same view as Madrid does for instance. Rome is the same as Cincinnati in that regard. Monte Carlo and Rome is probably my two least favorite events. And maybe Roger’s too because he has won neither of them. Berlocq is no push over on clay. He is ranked 38 and is pretty much a clay court specialist. It looks like Roger started out strongly and finished strongly. He broke Berlocq at 1-0 and held onto serve from there on to win the first set, but not before saving two breaks points on serve at 4-2. He served out the set to love in very blustery conditions. In the second set Roger broke at 2-2 but got broken right back for 3-3. Then in the last three games he raised his game again to get the break at 4-4 and proceeded to serve out the match.
The most noticeable thing about the match stats is the net approaches and his success rate in that department. It’s nice to see that he is being attacking on the slow red stuff. He needs that against Djokovic and Nadal. Speaking of Djokovic and Nadal, how do we want this tournament to play out? Do we want Roger to beat Djokovic and play Nadal in the final with the possibility of losing his #2 ranking, or do we want Djokovic to make the final and take out Nadal like last year? I know we have been here before and some of you always want Roger to win no matter what. But I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing if Djokovic makes the final. If he beats Nadal and ends up on Nadal’s side of the draw in Roland Garros, then he can beat him again and then we can have our Djokerer final with Djokovic being tired.
It’s all hypothetical though. If Roger can beat both Djokovic and Nadal in Rome then that is of course the best case scenario. There is still a lot of tennis left to be played anyway. We will see how it goes. Roger now plays Ferrero who he holds a 9-3 head-to-head record over. Ferrero is well past his prime and I don’t see how he can give Roger many problems. Stranger things have happened though. Good luck GOAT!
Roger arrives at the Foro Italico yesterday: