The Rome Masters Predictions and Beyond

Apr 24, 2009

Now that Rafael Nadal has shown everyone how it’s done at Monte Carlo, the King of Clay Courts has moved on to Barcelona. Once that is over, Nadal meets up with the best of the rest in Rome for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia tournmanet(the Rome Masters). This masters is another that Nadal would love to snatch a victory at,  but then again so would everyone else.

So what would winning the Rome masters mean to some of the players looking forward to competing? And do I truly have the courage to make some proper predictions for the Rome Masters and beyond?

Well, I’ve taken four top players and had a stab at it.

Feel free to disagree; by the time I’ve posted this up I probably will do too.

Rafael Nadal: Well if he won at Rome, that would be the 15th Masters title he has scooped up, beating Federer’s best so far, and will be inching closer towards Andre Agassi’s best at 17. Considering he just clinched the Monte Carlo Masters trophy, a tournament where he loves to win, that will certainly give him a confidence to ride on at Rome.  But since when does Nadal display any lack of confidence?

And Rome is a stepping stone to bigger and better things; the French Open for one. I don’t predict him to win at Rome; I feel his heart may be set on preparing for France and not tiring himself out. But a prediction for the French Open? I feel confident enough to say that this year will be his fifth year to bite down on that trophy.

Andy Murray: If Andy were to do well at Rome, it’d be a good omen for the French Open. From the looks of things, he wants to break Nadal’s hold on the clay in some form or another. Do I think he can do it?

Short answer: no.

Longer answer: nope, no way.

Slightly kinder answer: not yet anyway.

I don’t think, currently, that there is a soul out there with the skill to take Rafael Nadal by the horns on a clay court and win, especially if it was the final at the French Open. Nadal himself says that Murray is a serious contender, but the young Scott has a shaky record when it comes to winning tournaments.  Despite being world no. 4, I just don’t know about Murray’s staying ability. At Rome, I predict a semi-final place. 

Novak Djokovic: Djokovic of course reached the final of the Monte Carlo Masters, and he’s been working hard throughout the tournaments and doing well.  As for the French Open though, if he were to come up against Nadal he’s likely to be stopped in his tracks, at whichever point in the tournament he meets him. He has a 0-7 deficit to Nadal on clay: that just about says it all, really. So I predict that he will go far, probably up to quarter or semi-final, and that if he meets Nadal again the game may go the same way as the Monte Carlo final.

Roger Federer: ah, Roger. I think I’ve talked quite a bit more about his private life over his professional as of late, so it’s nice to get back to the tennis side of things.

Federer was knocked out very early in the Monte Carlo masters, a combination of the force of his opponent and the holes in his own game (particularly his serve). But this is Roger Federer, and he is World No. 2 for a reason. There’s still plenty of life left in him (unlike the Federer Doubters, I don’t think that facing his first dirty diaper will render him incapable of holding a racket anymore) and although his rival Nadal usually dominates at the French Open, I think Federer will be there to give a good chase. I think he may win, or come very close, at Rome. The French Open is trickier though. I truly thought he would win at the Australian Open, and although I wasn’t far off it certainly wasn’t a spot on prediction. I’ll come back to Federer when things start to kick off at Rome…

Written by: SophieG

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