Giving tennis more than a shot

Ciao Roma!

The Madrid Open will reach its conclusion tomorrow in a final worthy of the best indoor hard court matches and will oppose Roger Federer, aiming for his 10th clay court title and 20th Masters shield overall (did I mention that he and Rafa are into a very nice battle for them this season?), and Tomas Berdych, aiming for his second Masters 1000 (his only one already dating nearly seven years).


But as much as I’ve been admiring the eerie ice-clay ballet danced by Federer on this inhospitable surface, making me wonder, like a few people of my knowledge, if he really is from this planet or not, this Masters 1000 still feels like a sham and it’s with great pleasure that I’m welcoming the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, or Rome Masters to make short.


This week, it seems like an even bigger field, if possible, than last week, as Rome welcomes back Juan Mónaco, who’s been out since Monte Carlo due to an ankle sprain, as well as World no 4 Andy Murray, who skipped Madrid due to a lower back injury. Their comebacks are more than welcomed as we are nearing the French Open and after the debacle that was Madrid, coming back to get good results on clay is a must.


However, neither of the two are having a good draw and, to be completely honest, I don’t even know if Murray will pass his first match, as he may very well meet David Nalbandian, which would be a really tough way to get back on the saddle after a two-week layoff. Murray’s possible opponents, if he passes the Nalbandian test (unless the Argentine falls to a qualifier in the first round), are not easier, as he could meet Richard Gasquet in the round-of-16, then David Ferrer in the quarter-finals, before meeting Rafael Nadal in the semis. Tough ask, is it not?


As for Mónaco, he will face a qualifier for starters and we can then have an all-Argentine encounter between him and Juan Ignacio Chela in round 2, if Chela defeats Radek Stepanek. Then, Novak Djokovic will likely await in the round-of-16. It’s a tough ask for a healthy player, so I cannot imagine for one coming back from a serious injury!


The most unlucky player of the draw, however, is Milos Raonic. The Canadian has a good (if not easy) first round against the tricky but not so tricky anymore Florian Mayer… before meeting Rafael Nadal! After Murray in Barcelona, and Roger Federer in Madrid, here is Nadal. Will he fall into Novak Djokovic’s quarter in Roland Garros to complete the top 4 meetings on clay?


As for Roger Federer, he has a pretty decent draw, although a meeting with a now healthy and more aggressive than ever Carlos Berlocq in round 2 would make a very interesting match to follow. I’m also sure that many are already salivating at the prospect of a possible rematch with John Isner after their Indian Wells finals, but most of all after Isner had defeated Federer on clay in Fribourg in the first round of the Davis Cup earlier this year. However, as this meeting would be in quarter-finals, nothing is assured.


It is not an easy draw for anyone, although I’m pretty sure that both Djokovic and Nadal will be eager to prove that they are still the men to beat on clay, although I would never discard Roger Federer on any surface, be it clay (where he excels), hard, grass, or even, as we’ve seen this week, ice.


Main draw action, as well as the end of the qualifying, starts tomorrow. Ciao Roma! I’m happy to see you again!


Similar posts
  • David Nalbandian Retires “It’s not easy. It’s not one of the nicest days of my career, of my path, but it’s my turn today. When I see the images and the tournaments, it’s a weird sensation, to feel like being there, competing, coming back to play. But my shoulder isn’t helping me to come back and train with [...]
  • Djokovic and Nadal: the Fight for the... The ATP500 tournament of Beijing has started today and the talk, this week, is whether or not Rafael Nadal will overtake the top of the rankings from Novak Djokovic. Whether? No. When. First of all, we have to make one thing certain: the change of the guard on top of the ATP World Tour rankings [...]
  • Opinion – Koellerer Lashes Out ... He was perhaps banned for life by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) for match-fixing, but Daniel Koellerer continues to talk, and to talk a lot. This time, he lashed out on Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, particularly on the former, accusing him of doping: “Let’s take Rafael Nadal. It’s not possible that he tested negative. [...]
  • Andy Murray on the Mend After Back Su... World n°3 Andy Murray underwent yesterday a back surgery in order to, hopefully, rid him once and for all of the problems that have been ailing him for the last two years. The 26-year-old, when he came around, proceeded to tweet a picture of himself in his hospital bed, thanking everyone for the messages he [...]
  • Andy Murray to Undergo Back Surgery . Tough blow for the World n°3, as British media report that Andy Murray is to undergo back surgery next week, to try and rid him of a problem he’s been suffering for the last two years, and which caused him to pull out from the French Open earlier this season. The problems started in [...]





Past Articles