Roger Federer v Alexander Zverev Wed In Rome; Djokovic, Murray, Nadal Also In Action
by Staff | May 10th, 2016, 10:29 pm
  • 81 Comments

In the match of the second round, Roger Federer will get his first look at the young phenom Alexander Zverev Wednesday at the Rome Masters. The 19-year-old German, who is ranked No. 44 after starting the year No. 83, has never beaten a Top 10 player before. But he did just dominate a player who plays just like Federer in Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’s always something that I dreamed about, playing against Roger,” Zverev said. “Mischa played here against him in a quarterfinals once, so obviously it’s going to be great and I’m really looking forward to it.

“He was always my idol growing up. Playing against your biggest idol, and I think he’s the best tennis player that ever played the game, so going to be obviously something really big for me and something great. Hopefully we can have a great match and have a, you know, have a tough match and we’ll see how it goes.”

After suffering a back injury last week forcing him out of Madrid, it’s been all quiet in the Federer camp this week in Rome igniting speculation that the Swiss might not be ready for competition.

Fellow Big 4 members Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are also in action on a jam-packed Wednesday schedule.

Four-time champion Djokovic meets French qualifier Stephane Robert in first meeting. Seven-time winner Nadal faces Philipp Kohlschreiber. Rafa has won 12 of the previous 13 meetings (5-0 on clay) against the German including a 6-3, 6-3 victory last month in Barcelona.

“If Rome is not a special place for the players, I don’t know which place can be special,” Nadal said. “It’s one of the most historic events on our tour and one of the most important tournaments in our tour. I think everybody has a special feeling here. For me especially because I have a lot of success in the past.

“He’s playing great,” he said of the German. “He won in Munich couple of weeks okay and played semifinals in Barcelona too. He’s playing well and he’s a very good player on clay. So that’s my — I am worried about that now.”

And the Mauresmo-less Murray takes on Russian qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin.

David Ferrer and Dominic Thiem are also on court. And Nick Kyrgios collides with Milos Raonic in maybe the best match of the session.

Earlier today, Stan Wawrinka shrugged off an opening set loss to coast in a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over good friend Benoit Paire.

“I’m really happy with that win,” Wawrinka said. “There were some really good rallies. It was a good atmosphere out there.

“A few points changed a lot for me,” he added. “First set I think we were both playing well, but I was a little bit nervous, quite a lot nervous. I was looking for my confidence.”

Kei Nishikori also dropped the first set before coming back to deny Viktor Troicki 5-7, 6-2 ,6-3.

Tomas Berdych and David Goffin were also straight set second round winners, and David Ferrer held off Italian veteran Filippo Volandri in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

WEDNESDAY ROME SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
ATP – [3] R. Federer (SUI) vs A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] S. Robert (FRA)
WTA – J. Konta (GBR) vs [7] R. Vinci (ITA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – P. Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs M. Keys (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT)
ATP – [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
WTA – D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [6] S. Halep (ROU)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs [9] D. Ferrer (ESP)


You Might Like:
Alexander Zverev: I’m Not Going To Be Satisfied Being The No. 4 Seed At The US Open
Alexander Zverev Becomes Third Player To Qualify For ATP Finals
Alexander Zverev Found His US Open Loss To Borna Coric Very Upsetting
Alexander Zverev Says He’s Better Now Than A Year Ago
For The First Time In ATP Rankings History, The Entire Top 5 Is 30+

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

81 Comments for Roger Federer v Alexander Zverev Wed In Rome; Djokovic, Murray, Nadal Also In Action

Tennis Vagabond Says:

“But he did just dominate a player who plays just like Federer in Grigor Dimitrov.”

Hahahahahahahahahahaha


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Really, the ONLY thing different between Fed and Dmitrov is 17 slams.


Margot Says:

^ Lol TV!
But I think that’s what’s derailed Dimi. Too much comparison, too much expectation. Oh…and being too pretty ;)


roy Says:

The real difference between Dimitrov and Federer is that Federer was always an exceptional returner to go WITH his service dominance. He is a mix of big server and returner. Dimitrov has the return game of a Roddick, but without the freakish serve, just a very good one.

Djoker/Nadal/Murray are all more ‘return dominant’ than Federer but Federer was always an excellent returner and his service superiority over the other ‘big 4′ can make up for the return deficiency compared to them.

You basically need a return win % of high 20s (with a big serve) or into the 30s (without a big serve) to be a consistent top player.

This is why Dimitrov and Tomic have not been as successful as predicted and why Nishikori has better results.

Roddick/Raonic etc. are freak server exceptions who can get away with low 20s returning. But notice those players usually lose to better returning top players in the long game.


chrisford1 Says:

maybe Fed serve+return points is extremely good, service is better than the others, but as the weak era ended, Fed saw serve+return of Nadal dominate over him, and then the same with Djokovic a few years later.
But of servers, Roger is amazing to watch. It’s his biggest strength throughput his career. When added to his overall game, it is so superior to Servebots!


danica Says:

Would love to watch Roger and Sasha but, alas, way too in the middle of the night for me.

“Really, the ONLY thing different between Fed and Dimitrov is 17 slams.”
Yeah, and a few weeks on No.#1 spot. :)


J-Kath Says:

Fed has a dilemma…if he’s really not fit (and hurting) he shouldn’t be playing. Because he withdrew in Madrid he doesn’t want to withdraw again and of course he doesn’t want to lose ranking points. The first set will be informative.


jatin Says:

Fed is practicing at the moment.

https://twitter.com/dolce_daniela/status/730305486822772736

Its a matter of 1 hour now.


J-Kath Says:

Thanks Jatin.


jatin Says:

He is back guys :)
Leads 2-1… Bring it on


jatin Says:

Its ok J-kath.. Enjoy the match


jatin Says:

Fed is all about business right now. How about those wicked drop shots man.


Wog Boy Says:

Roger obviously did his homework, Zverev is awful on the net.


Van Persie Says:

Thanks for the info, WB. Just wanted to ask, how is Zverev’s game today


Wog Boy Says:

Looking at Zverev legs, pretty strong for his age, he must be doing a lot of running and other leg exercises.


Van Persie Says:

I expected him to play with a bit of respect for Fed


Daniel Says:

Masterclass game for Federer to go 0-40 on 5-5. Misses an easy FH to break and serve for the match, 2 more BP’s


Wog Boy Says:

VP,

Roger is not letting him play his game, as I said, he did his homework, plays smart, brings Zverev on the net and Zverev doesn’t know what to do, he is often wrong footed, Roger is just playing smart tennis and is about to brake and serve for the match.


Daniel Says:

Another sitter FH to break and he miss and now licky deep FH with 2 hands by Zvereb to save 3 BP’s


Van Persie Says:

Thiem just beat Sousa, awesome


Daniel Says:

Drop shot show, 2 this game alone, 3 MP


jatin Says:

Zverev is a great young talent, very clean striker. Loved this match from fed. His defense was breathtaking at times as well as those tricky drop shots, short slices etc.
Looking forward to his match against thiem. Should be a cracker.


Van Persie Says:

WB,

Thanks again.
Match over. Have to watch the highlights tonight.


Daniel Says:

Thiem should be a great test, he is in form this season. Smart match played by Fed.


Wog Boy Says:

I don’t think Zverev needed day off, he had momentum after beating Dimitrov, but Roger broke that momentum by switching days, smart move.
No sign of back injury either, he was moving as good as ever.


Daniel Says:

Djoko seems unwell, is his back or something else?


Daniel Says:

His movement is strange, body language…


Daniel Says:

Second time he touched his lower back on the left. He was a bit stiff at start but maybe with body warming up he start feeling better. But even, somethig is clearly not right, he is hardly sliding and a bunchnof balls he didn’t even try getting to them.


Wog Boy Says:

I can smell another Vesely.


Van Persie Says:

Not a tragedy if he loses in Rome. It is important for him to be fit in Paris.
Perhaps the cold weather in Madrid affected him


Wog Boy Says:

VP,

That’s exactly what he is doing when in the chair, covering with towels, feeling cold.


Daniel Says:

Robert zoning now, going for the most dificult shots, flat winners at will


Michael Says:

Novak is looking totally out of sorts today for some intriguing reason difficult to discern. But, relievingly he has won the first set.

I think he will be a totally different player to be feared once he gets used to the conditions. Hopefully, he will get through this one.


jalep Says:

#105, Stephane Robert turns 36 next week. But I’ve had a bad feeling about him, lol, seriously. He started the year ranked two hundred something, loves playing AO, made it through qualies to round 32 there, where he lost to Monfils. Since then, he’s been making some moves up the ranks, getting good results in challengers, and turned up in Estoril, nearly beating Garcia-Lopez.

Another aging Frenchman on a roll, like Benneteau and Paul-Henri Mathieu, making a push ahead of Roland Garros!

Idemo Nole! Robert looked strangely dangerous to me at the net for the coin toss. Weird look on his face 😨


Wog Boy Says:

Nole is pissed off. Far from over, Robert is possessed.


Wog Boy Says:

This was f..en scary.


Wog Boy Says:

Who allowed those idiots to fly helicopter so low directly above during the game.


J-Kath Says:

Well all we need now is Rafa. Congrats to all fans whose favourites are through. Later on, Rafa will surely join them.


Humble Rafa Says:

Who allowed those idiots to fly helicopter so low directly above during the game.

The fans of Arrogant One, anything they can do to get an advantage over the growing goat.


mat4 Says:

Nole managed to win somehow. Excellent match.


Van Persie Says:

Nice that he made it finally. We’ll see tomorrow, how he feels


Daniel Says:

Hope there is nothing wrong with his back nd it was just an initial discomfort. Sometimes your body just don’t want to pay tennis that particular time and they have to get themselves in the rhythm.

Next Bellucci, which once gave Novak a hard time 2011


mat4 Says:

Bellucci played some great tennis in 2011, and I believe that he is an underachiever. He could have done much more, imho. He’s big, he can serve efficiently, he has an excellent forehand. But, as we all could see with Robert, the mental side is extremely important.


Wog Boy Says:

I almost forgot, Nole did it again in that last game, Nole’s OH..straight at the bottom of the net..


Daniel Says:

Federer said in social media that he doesn’t know if he will play Thiem tomorrow, that he thought he would lose in 2 today. Still some drama this week.


Daniel Says:

mat4, Bellucci doesn’t have it mentally, he just fell under pressure, again and again. Don’t see trouble for Novak tomorrow. Today was a bad day for him, physically wise, but he didn’t have a big opponent (part of being #1 and playing qualifiers). He should progress better each match.

Also he only plays to dazzle from semis onwards.


jatin Says:

Thanks for info Daniel
I think it Depends on how he is feeling physically. He is a player who could play through pain but would never show any sign of pain or issue on court. When he was struggling with back issues in 2013, no one knew about it until he told everyone. In 2nd set it looked like he started feeling it a little bit, was one step slower intentionally.

According to latest info

Federer says playing today was a “calculated risk,” and is super happy that it paid off. Can’t guarantee he’ll play tomorrow, though.

https://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/730383061288787968

It seems like Novak too had some kind of issue with his back. I hope he is fine.


Dave Says:

Federer even said that he would love to win Rome for the first time, but not this year. He said he is to far off. So it looks like with the win today, Murray is pretty much a lock as the number 2 seed at the French Open. I think for Murray it’s more important to build up a bit of a lead over Federer to try and stay number 2 for Wimbledon. At the French Open Federer only has 360 points to defend. Murray has 1200 to defend. Federer and Murray both have to defend grass court titles before Wimbledon, so no chance for Murray to catch Federer for number 2 if he gets behind after the French Open. Murray has a big opportunity to really distance himself from Federer in Rome. If Federer goes out tomorrow and Murray makes the final, that will be around a 1000 point swing. He might need all of those 1000 points to stay number 2 for Wimbledon and avoid Djokovic in the Semi-finals.


Daniel Says:

Dave,

Murray os defending 720 (semi) in Paris.

Agree that Murray needs to maixmize Rome and his clay form right now.

Federer also is scheduled to play naother grass qarm up, but I don’t know if the points for Stuttgart still counts for Wimby, have to check calendar.


Dave Says:

Oh wow. That’s right. I don’t know why I thought he made the final. So this is great news for Murray. So it seems like Murray will be number 2 at Wimbledon. If Federer gets put on Djokovic’s side at Wimbledon, he is in trouble and will have a very hard time winning Wimbledon. I think for Djokovic it’s better to play Federer in the Semi-finals. Some would probably disagree. The Federer match felt more like the final in Australia and the Final against Murray felt like a certainty. Kind of like the French Open in 2013 in the Semi-final between Djokovic and Nadal. Everyone knew that was the real final and that the winner was going to beat Ferrer in the final easily. I love Ferrer, but he didn’t stand a chance against either of them.


jalep Says:

Nick! Yesssss…wins the first set TB 😎

But my girl Simona lost, dang it.


Daniel Says:

This also depends on form, Fed would’ve to win Halle to increase his chances for grass, that would mean at least he is playing well.

RG draw almost impact Wimbledon as Fed and Murray are so close together, any tournament for now on is important for both.

Stuttgart will be before Halle and Queens (back to back with both ATP 500), so Fed could use this points. Maybe Murray will add another grass tournament and Djoko most likely will play one of Halle or Queens I think.


FedExpress Says:

for a huge server raonic doesnt hit that many aces


FedExpress Says:

game over


Daniel Says:

Kyrgios 2 breaks up in second set. Seems he will win it and be fresh to pay Nadal tomorrow.


FedExpress Says:

raonic overrated

thing the losses to murray at the AO and nole at IW damaged him mentally


FedExpress Says:

kyrgios has more weapons than raonic will ever develop


jalep Says:

Maybe Milos needs to do that ‘meridian tapping’ again like he did last year.

It’s not quite over. Nick has to get over the finish line without a meltdown or similar lapse. Here goes…

Yay…..👍


Margot Says:

Yay! Well done Nick!


jalep Says:

At least one of our ATP young guns got a win today, it’s success, Margot!


Margot Says:

Dom did too! We’re on a high!


Okiegal Says:

I can’t begin to spell the umpire’s name that is officiating r
Rafa’s match, but he is the best there is in the business….imho……


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa has played better than past week I think. Let’s see tomorrow, what a match against the australian! and so Federer – Thiem


gonzalowski Says:

Mohammed Layani is that umpire. He’s always smiling, nice


Okiegal Says:

Kvitova is one tall drink of water!


Okiegal Says:

Keys just now beat her! I like both of these players…..


MMT Says:

roy Says: “…Djoker/Nadal/Murray are all more ‘return dominant’ than Federer but Federer was always an excellent returner and his service superiority over the other ‘big 4′ can make up for the return deficiency compared to them…This is why Dimitrov and Tomic have not been as successful as predicted and why Nishikori has better results.”

Here here! I would add that Dimitrov’s serve has lost some bite since he changed racquets, which I think is a big reason for his troubles. May I suggest a paint job, Grisha?

I asked Nishikori last year in DC whether the return of serve is underrated in men’s tennis – he answered (very diplomatically) that he can’t speak for other players, but the return was essential to HIS game. I think he’s right, and it can be extended to the men’s game in general.

Everyone and their brother gets free points from the serve in men’s tennis – very few people have very good returns of serve, and they’re almost all in the top 10. In fact the biggest/baddest serves on tour rarely belong to the best players.


J-Kath Says:

Has Andy been shuffled on to a lesser court tomorrow? Or are they all equal? Maybe the management don’t believe he will progress far. Hope that is not the reason.


danica Says:

Congrats to all the winners but that was one strange match from Nole. No running, no sliding, body language horrible… I guess we’ll see today how he fares.


Pauly Says:

Nadal vs Djokovic ?
Nadal will be looking forward to that much


danica Says:

No, both Rafa and Nole have to win their 3rd round matches first. Then we will see where each one of them stands :)


FedExpress Says:

the genius fed is breaks thiem with a broken back


FedExpress Says:

wtf was that game

gifts the break back


FedExpress Says:

tie break it is. the bh starting to working.


FedExpress Says:

thiem too good in the TB

think fed wont give much of an effort in the 2nd

but nevertheless good showing


jatin Says:

Amazing tie breaker by thiem. Deserved the 1st set.
Fed was not even bending to his right side most of the time :(
I just appreciate his efforts to make this competitive.


jatin Says:

Ateleast we saw a SABR today :)


jatin Says:

Congratulations Theim, great play.
Thanks fed for showing up. It was a great effort. Now go get some treamtment and rest and hopefully come back fit in paris :)


Margot Says:

And Dom did it again. Wow!
Sorry folks, bandwagon is full…..;)


Wog Boy Says:

No probs Margot, I’ll go on the roof..;)


Margot Says:

Lol Wog Boy, hang on tight!

Top story: Federer Goes Down To Nishikori In First Straight Set Round-Robin Loss At ATP Finals; Djokovic Monday