Internazionali BNL d’Italia
Roger Federer returns after seeing the birth of another set of twins – spare a thought for Mirka – but is it too soon? Djokovic is an injury doubt even if he plays. Murray is out of sorts without a full-time coach, not least of Lendl calibre, which leaves Nadal as the frontrunner who himself has not had a great few weeks. What’s the world coming to?
Madrid saw some different names making headlines including Santiago Giraldo, Roberto Bautista Agut and Ernests Gulbis knocking off some big names. Dominic Thiem shocked red-hot Stan Wawrinka but retired in his next match, but we will be watching him closely this season. Tomas Berdych is one to watch if he can keep his momentum going for a whole tournament; he is 24-6 this season.
Let’s break it down:
ATP Level: 1000
Surface: Outdoor Clay
Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal – Looking for his 44th clay title and 27th Masters title.
Floater: Ernests ‘Lights Out’ Gulbis – Took out Janowicz, Dolgopolov and Cilic last week.
Youngblood: Grigor ‘Baby Fed’ Dimitrov – Makes hard work of some lesser opponents but up there with the big dogs now.
Slumping: Andy ‘The Murricane’ Murray – Without a coach and it’s showing with easy loss to Giraldo last week in Madrid
On Fire: Santiago Giraldo – On a 12-2 winning streak since April and seeing the ball like a football.
My pick: Rafael Nadal – The field has opened up for him if he had had any worries before hand. Needs to watch out for Ferrer though.
Did You Know? Rome is one of the few ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles that Roger Federer hasn’t won.
Watch: Rome Uncovered
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more!