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ATP Masters 1000: Rome

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ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Sat May 10, 2014 6:16 pm

When it comes to clay season, all roads don't lead to Rome, it is our last big stop before the final destination: Paris and Roland Garros.

Interesting how every year the same tournament feels different.

Last year, I had a clear recollection of the one before: there were some nice memorable matches, plenty of atmospheric moments,  but for some reason I struggle to remember any from Rome 2013.

While Madrid is still underway and we all have less and less hope that Nadal's trophyless clay season streak will continue, it is definitely safe to conclude that he is not the main favourite for Rome any more despite the fact that:

a) Djokovic is injured
b) Murray has gone off for a walk and may be a while
c) Federer is enjoying being The Daddy, but in his own family, not the tour at the moment. We still don't know whether he is playing or not, I bet he doesn't either...
d) Super Stan has returned to his Normal Stan mode...

The proverbial "young guns" are still waiting in the queue called Ferrer, the gatekeeper, Berdyc's much hailed "new" self is looking older than ever.... Delpo...Delpo who?



ATP Rome 1000, Outdoor  clay

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia features the best players at the Foro Italico in Rome as one of the three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 contested on clay, but the event is more than just tennis - it is a total entertainment experience. High fashion, fine food, fabulous shopping and celebrity musical performances have made it one of the most glamorous stops on the ATP World Tour. In 2013, Rafael Nadal won a record seventh singles title.

Players Nadal, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Federer, Ferrer, Berdych, Murray....and just about everyone else!

The Draw

Daily Order of Play
http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2014/416/op.pdf






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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Sat May 10, 2014 9:42 pm

Djokovic:

"I completed a session of stepped-up training today after sparing my arm for the past five or six days. I am pleased, everything went painlessly.
There was an agreement before hand for both of them (Vajda and Becker)to be with me at Roland Garros. Rome will be the best final test for us to see how it works altogether."


Looks like Nole is going to turn up in Rome, although just like Madrid, he is going to have another check up first.
Still looks dodgy. Normally, he likes to arrive to tournaments early.
Same with Federer.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Sun May 11, 2014 9:53 am

Djokovic is in Rome and had a well-attended practice session yesterday:

https://mobile.twitter.com/DjokerNole/status/465402231807029248/photo/1

FORZA NOLE!!!! diva

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 7:58 am

Match of the day:

Dolgopolov - Tsonga
Dimitrov - Vasselin
Fognini - Rosol


Any news on Federer?

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon May 12, 2014 12:04 pm

Dimi a set down.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Mon May 12, 2014 12:28 pm

I think Federer might play to secure his 4th spot before the slams. If he doesn't play Ferrer needs to reach semi to overtake him before the FO.

But I suggest Federer might retire as soon as Ferrer does.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 1:07 pm

I didn't realise Fed's number 4 spot is under threat...there is always Nice to catch up if needed.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 1:27 pm

BREAKING NEWS:
Fed playing in Rome!  

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Mon May 12, 2014 1:30 pm

noleisthebest wrote:BREAKING NEWS:
Fed playing in Rome!  
He probably wants to get away from those cries. The tour is an easy thing in comparison! Winking

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 1:34 pm

Exactly! Especially as with the twins he gets the stereo effect   Laugh

Twins must be hard work to start with, but I'm sure Mirka has all the help she needs. It's nice they could spend one whole week together.
The twin girls will probably be so fussed over their baby brothers: they'll each have a real living doll now!

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 1:55 pm

Nishi withdraws from Rome:

http://www.iol.co.za/sport/tennis/nishikori-withdraws-from-rome-masters-1.1686947

This was to be expected, the back needs some rest. Nishi played a lot this year, so this does not come as a surprise.
I would love to see him do well in RG and in Nadal's quarter.
That could be Frenchies' Piece de Resistance for 2014  chef

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 5:00 pm

Rosol dispatched Fognini with ease, 6:2, 6:2.

Apparently, Fognini has never even made the second round in Rome!

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 9:30 pm

Quite a FH-fest going on between Dolgo and Tsonga.
Dolgo's one is a real beauty, incredible pace...makes Tsonga's best FHs looks really plain!
Still, it's consistency that's winning even in this match-up!

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 9:35 pm

Dolgo has gone drazy ecen for his own standards...what a point foe the mini-vreak in the TB!!!
He's got to be the only player on tour who waits for the return of serve 1.5m the base-line.
And we are talking Tsonga's serve here....

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Mon May 12, 2014 9:45 pm

Yes I saw the end of it..but again not able to pull those great shots consistently.

Tsong would do well to learn how to return closer to the baseline. Even tough he won today, it is essentially thanks to his athletism and not his great shots (bar the serve).

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Mon May 12, 2014 9:52 pm

Yes, it's so frustrating to watch Dolgo. In fact, it's not, I love how he plays 100%, but it must hurt him to lose more often than he should.

He denies himself a chance to play more and us fans to see and enjoy more of him. He is a special player.

I keep thinking there must be a way to channel that talent a bit better.
Maybe it's time for a new coach?
I doubt he'd probably even be interested. Who would you recommend for him?

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 8:00 am

Match of the day:

Djokovic-Stepanek
Golubev-Verdasco
Gulbis-Falla

I didn't know that JJ's got himself into a losing rut. Apparently 9 matches in a row and counting....this relative stagnation is turning to be plateauing.
What he does, he does well, but it's clearly not enough. He needs to start hitting down the line
He seems to have become predictable with his CC style, time to move on and create a bit. After all, this is 2014 Winking

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Tue May 13, 2014 8:10 am

No Federer today...surprising.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 8:24 am

I think he only arrived in Rome yesterday.
Just had a look at his draw - no grinders in his quarter, so shouldn't spend too much time on the court before the semi-final.
Nole's got the worst possible draw for his current injury (Robredo, Ferrer) , will be interesting how that affects his play.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Tue May 13, 2014 9:03 am

Nole has little trouble with those grinders. He usually don;t rally much with them.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 9:07 am

I think they are no threat to him when he is healthy, but it was GG Lopez who stretched him to 3 long sets in Monte Carlo that made his arm to go from manageable to skipping Madrid.
I hope he knows what he's doing....

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 9:13 am

Nadal has such an easy draw...nobody in his half to bother him, except maybe Stan if he regains his Super mode.
Murray vs Granollers could be interesting tomorrow. Can Murray stop his free-falling...and keep smiling!

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 11:32 am

Rain delay in Rome.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 2:49 pm

Good to see Nole without any arm/wrist bandage.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 2:54 pm

Radek playing like a heart-broken man... brokenheart 

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 3:15 pm

I think Nole is playing with pain-killers and they are beginning to wear off.
I hope he doesn't make a hash of this 2nd set...like he's done soooo many times before.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 3:47 pm

Job doneit was funny to see Radek try to get the crowd on his side, but they remained indifferent.
Good to see Golubev and Haas through.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Tue May 13, 2014 4:03 pm

Yes Djoko being broken 3 times (apparently) by Stepanek...that's not good.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 4:09 pm

From Fed in Rome:

"And they all said I should quickly come and play here. So I was like, `OK, if you don't want me around I'll go away. That was basically it.

Things went well, the boys are healthy. Mirka's good, too. So it's a great time in our lives right now.

Boys names are hard. It was all last minute. Girls, I feel like there's so many nice names and they're all cute but with boys it's totally a different story.

I miss them a lot already and also the girls. It's a different type of week but I'll get through it and I hope I can still play some good tennis.

This time around, we kind of know how to handle kids on the road. I'm aware it's going to be a lot of work but at the same time I know what I'm getting into. So it's something I'm very much looking forward to. ... There will be a long time without any traveling after the tennis is over, so I'm looking forward to the next couple of years now.

I expect a lot from myself but then after what happened I come here a bit more laid back, just enjoy it. I've had such a good start to the season that I want to just keep momentum on my side.

I didn't want too big a break. And it doesn't matter whether I play five matches or one match here, as long as I stay with the pulse of things on tour. Of course I hope I can win my first-round match but at the moment I have totally different priorities."

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Tue May 13, 2014 4:43 pm

wow...what a hint!

And yes, he is not going to break a leg here in Rome.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Tue May 13, 2014 11:00 pm

Slowish, but not quite an uneventful day today...

Kohlschreiber managed to beat Robredo with ease in two sets, which is and is not a surprise, so he will be playing Nole in the next round.
From memory he beat him in RG one year, after which someone from the old BBC606 kept calling him Sir Kohlschreiber....

After his match Nole commented on the playing conditions:

"It was one of the most difficult conditions I’ve played in in my life.
It was very difficult to get any kind of rhythm. Stepanek is a very experienced player, so that’s why I had to be super-focused every game because I knew he had this variety of shots."


I only saw a few games in the second set but did notice the court looked very patchy and had to be watered between the games as the wind blew off a lot of clay.

There seemed to have been an incident in the Seppi-Haas match:

"Serving down break point at 3-all in the decider, Seppi was waiting for the home crowd to quiet when hit with a second time violation by chair umpire Fergus Murphy, resulting in a second serve. Haas, who won 12 of 21 points played on the Italian's second serve in the third set, took advantage, driving an inside-out forehand winner to secure the key break for a 4-3 lead.

The normally mild-mannered Seppi snapped, winding up and slamming his racquet to the court in anger while the crowd protested with whistling and chanting. Seppi never recovered as Haas won eight of the next nine points to seal a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 victory. A stewing Seppi declined to shake Murphy's hand after the match."


It disappoints me when umpires punish players like Seppi and let Nadal get away with murder....

Murray, Federer, Nadal all playing tomorrow.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Tue May 13, 2014 11:45 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
It disappoints me when umpires punish players like Seppi and let Nadal get away with murder....
Yes that's disgusting.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 8:07 am

Some interesting matches today, including two SBH encounters:

Youzhny- Golubev
Haas-Sijsling

Simon-Nadal.  I am not going to ask Can Simon blah blah...just...ALLEZ!

Murray-Granollers. I can easily see "an upset" here..pretty sure that unlike Murray, Granollers has won at least one tournament on clay.

Federer-Chardy. Welcome back Daddy!

Also playing Dimitrov-Karlovic, Gulbis (vs the super lucky AO loser Robert), Tursunov-Berdych could be good.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Wed May 14, 2014 12:05 pm

yes Youshny Golubev should be good. Golu beating Verdasco yesterday in a good result.

the winner takes on Nadal.....if Nadal gets past Simon.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 12:24 pm

Just came back from my tennis fun in the sun.
Another very windy day in Rome and the court looks even worse than yesterday, with large eroded patches where the clay had been blown off, and we know how much Murray loves playing on the wind...
He is a set up serving at 4:4 against Granollers.

Murray still smiling...

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 12:58 pm

Federer - Chardy starting.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 1:29 pm

Pretty nasty wind, but Fed adjusts much better than Chardy and simply hits through it, 6:1.
Has a tennis match ever been cancelled because the wind was too strong?

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Wed May 14, 2014 3:10 pm

And out is Fed....I watched the 3rd set TB.....conditions were awuful and Fed had the first MP..saved by a great passing from Chardy.

Federer does not look too bothered.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 4:39 pm

I am a bit disappointed with the loss, especially after seeing what complete junk tennis got Murray into the next round.
In the first set, Fed took all the time away from Chardy.
In the second, his first serve dropped and become very physical for some reason, that's how he got broken. He had chances to break back but didn't.
He seemed unusually uninterested and opted for the ultra aggressive hitting which earnt him a lot of UEs, his BH become weak.
Chardy started moving better and kept pounding Fed's BH.
He went down a break in the 3rd as well, and I dropped off just as he recovered it at 4:4, so didn't see the end of that set or the TB.
All in all, the conditions were terrible and Fed didn't enjoy himself in the least.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 5:01 pm

I enjoy watching matches in Pietrangelli court: it's cosy, old, fans sit close to court, on the railings, stairs...plenty of yesteryear charm and atmosphere, perfect for B list tennis battles.
Right now Gulbis and Robert playing there and it's one set all.

I hope Robert has fresh legs, this could be a very entertaining third set!

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 5:21 pm

It seems the warm and lively Italian crowd have taken to Robert:
OOO-LEEE, O-LE, O-LE, O- LEEE   ROOOOO-BEEEEET ROOO-BEEEERT!


I knew it would be fun! diva

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by truffin1 on Wed May 14, 2014 5:22 pm

I don't think the Fed match helped him keep the "momentum" which was his stated reason for showing up, but I also don't think he cares a whole lot and is glad to get back to the family.  Hopefully this doesn't mess up his seeding at RG--  I believe if Ferrer makes semis' he moves to 4..

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 5:24 pm

Hopefully, Nole will make sure Fed remains number 4 for RG.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 5:37 pm

And it's the end of the road for Robert... Rose
Gulbis to play Ferrer tomorrow.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Wed May 14, 2014 5:39 pm

Didn't they play last week? Was quite one sided....if I remember!

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 5:41 pm

I think they did...can't remember the score.
Strange, but from memory, Gulbis finds it more difficult to play Ferrer than Nadal.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Wed May 14, 2014 6:25 pm

Yes, the difference is one can rush him a bit more, while v Nadal it's about finding the line or having to run.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by Tenez on Wed May 14, 2014 6:26 pm

This is not the clay season I expected. Ok, glad Nadal lost on a few occasions but he still seems by far the fittest out there.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 6:44 pm

Tenez wrote:This is not the clay season I expected. Ok, glad Nadal lost on a few occasions but he still seems by far the fittest out there.

To me, it's more the rest have been a it off:  Fed's had the babies, Nole and Nishi injured, Stan...well he won MC, so could maybe summon up a bit of confidence here, too...

It's still better than last year, I think. It will be all worth it if he does not defend his RG title, I am happy for anyone to take it off him!

Rome, as well

You never know, Fed can easily play himself into form in Paris, he played very well in Monte Carlo. A lot will depend on te draw.

And now...

ALLES GILLES !!!!!   diva

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

Post by noleisthebest on Wed May 14, 2014 6:58 pm

I really hate Nadal's asphyxiating tennis. It's rotten to the core.
He is at it against Simon big time: millions of ultra-juiced, safe, mid-court moon-balls. Where is Nishi to eat them all up!
I just want Simon to somehow become a superman and blast every shot of his with three times as much power.

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Re: ATP Masters 1000: Rome

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