Update on the Rome Masters

Apr 30, 2009

Uh-oh, Mr Murray has done it again. Poor guy. He shows great promise to do well and then something flies out of nowhere and he’s left wondering what on earth happened. The opponent wh  managed to do such a number on the world No. 4, was qualifier Juan Monaco of Argentina. He came at Murray with a determination and energy that knocked the young Scot sideways and out of the competition in round two, although he doesn’t seem too disheartened. As he readily admits, he’s not quite as confident on clay as he could be in the future. And if Novak Djokovic doesn’t reclaim his title in Rome, then Murray climbs to the World No. 3 spot.

The less said about my Murray prediction last week the better….

Rafael Nadal has already disposed of his first round opponent, Italy’s Andreas Seppi. Next, he comes up against Robin Soderling, a competitor who he finally dispatched in a third round 2007 Wimbledon after 5 days and 5 sets. Tempers and frustration ran a little high then, and it’s been billed as one of the top matches to see; the last time they played on clay was back in 2006 and Nadal swept the Swede aside with little problem. Now Rafael Nadal has firmly cemented his ruling over the clay courts, Soderling will have to keep that resolve we saw in the Wimbledon match to come within a shot of besting the Majorcan.

Roger Federer is up against Radek Stepanek, many seeing it as a bit of an oldies match as both men are closer to 30 than most others playing. Stepanek was responsible for Federer’s quick exit in this tournament last year, so is Federer going to be able to put that aside and let the same thing happen again?

Novak Djokovic is playing to defend his title; a daunting task, especially since if he doesn’t manage to come home with the winning prize then Andy Murray leapfrogs into his World No. 3 position. His upcoming match is a third round meeting with Tommy Robredo; both exciting players to watch and both determined to keep in the tournament. It’ll be tough for Djokovic, as Robredo has had a good season on clay so far and could well be that tricky customer that causes an upset for the Serb.  Winning will help demonstrate that steel and determination we all know lies under Djokovic’s stoic countenance, as although he is the favourite Robredo could cause him some problems. The Spanish player has already dispatched Marti Safin in the first round.

Also to depart surprisingly early, is America’s James Blake who faltered against Romanian Victor Crivoi.

Looks like shock upsets and surprise early defeats are not going to be an unusual thing this year; then again, when are they ever?

 

 

-          SophieG

 

Written by: SophieG

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