Roger Federer Putting in the Not So ‘Hard Yards’ in Estoril
by Tom Gainey | May 1st, 2010, 11:00 pm

Since this hasn’t been mentioned anywhere here, I’ll bring it up. The ATP has released the Estoril draw which features Roger Federer as the top seed.

The Top 4 seeds get byes so Federer will only have to play four matches to win the Estoril Open, and the opposition is fairly light when you consider Ivan Ljubicic is seeded second, Gael Monfils is third and Albert Montanes is fourth.

In his first match (Wednesday or Thursday) Federer will play the winner of a qualifier and Bjorn Phau. His third round/quarterfinal opponent could be Montanes. Federer then may have to play Juan Ignacio Chela or Pablo Cuevas in the semifinals. That’s easy peasy lemon squeezy!

After his loss in Rome Federer spoke about having to “do the hard yards now, win ugly, starting with Estoril”. No offense, this tournament should not require such exertion.

If you are a Federer supporter your guy should bag this title without much sweat (he never sweats anyway). He won Estoril in 2008.

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62 Comments for Roger Federer Putting in the Not So ‘Hard Yards’ in Estoril

Tim Says:

Federer needs two things:

1/ Matches – he has played very few this year. That is why he is having trouble finding form

2/ Confidence – winning against perhaps lesser competition should help in that department.

Hence, Estoril is a good idea.

madmax Says:

Well Tom, thanks for the short comment here. I know that Estoril is only 250 points. Am very disappointed with Roger’s performance in Rome. First round (or second round, however you want to see it with the bye), was not something i was expecting.

When he won the AO this year, his game was “clicking”, everything was working for him, and what a difference a couple of months make! He really does need to put in the hard yards as he has said, that is, if he really wants to. I am sure that he does, but it is not going to come so easy to him any more, (and I dont use age as a factor at all), ferrer is 28, ferrero is 30, verdasco 27, all at the tail end of their twenties. Federer still 28, i would hope would have a few more years at the top of the game, and with the new “ish” coach on his team, then he has no excuse at all.

I want to see A-FED, NOT B-FED, or C-FED, it’s about time he stopped shopping Rome, and gets his backside on the court to practice.

No excuses, otherwise he can kiss goodbye to defending his title at FO. He knows rafa is the favourite, he has said so at GTT, everyone knows rafa is the favourite, but I would at least like to see Roger put up some fight.

This lack of effort in masters events is dismal.

Ezorra Says:

I don’t know about Charlene Riva but Myla Rose sounds very classic and beautiful name to me. Having said that, the twins are super cute and they look more like Federer than Mirka.

madmax Says:

Ezorra, they do, but children can sleep during the day and this is where Roger needs to be! Back on Court!

Go Roger!

Daniel Craig Says:

@Ezorra: would you want your kid to have MF for initials?

Ezorra Says:

Madmax, it’s a waste if you’re in Rome and do not do shopping, especially when you have all the money to do so.

Believe me Madmax, Estoril will be the turning point for Federer. I think what Federer is feeling now is similar to what has been experienced by Nadal in the last 11 months, which is confidence issue. He lost early in three Masters’ events and that is not an easy thing to be dealt with, not even for Federer. However, once he starts to win the title again, he will gain all the confidence back and I believe Estoril will provide that to him. What makes champions like Federer, Nadal, Roddick, Tiger Wood etc into successes is that when they fall, they learn from it. And most importantly, they aren’t afraid to fall, or even to fail, because they know in their heart of hearts that it is through failing that eventually they will succeed. Federer had done that before so why should we think he can’t do it now?

Eliza Says:

If Fed did nothing but hit the practice court and had no time off for things like shopping with the family his career would shorten dramatically. He’s got some pretty compelling off court interests now. If his fans want him to keep playing then he’s got to pace himself.

Winning the AO and coming close in the USO final are amazing achievements for a new father of two, and, it seems, underrated when you think how few fathers have won Slams. If he’s going to keep it up he’s got to have adequate time off. But it’s a tricky balancing act because clearly he’s got rusty from too much time off.

linda Says:

So Federer is not going to get much practice in Estoril then; I think Monfils will take the title. Maybe Rafa or Gulbis should enter as wild cards to spice things up a bit.

Skorocel Says:

“The Top 4 seeds get byes so Federer will only have to play four matches to win the Estoril Open”

4 matches to win a title? LOL! What happened to ATP these days? Firstly, they cut the MS events from 6 matches to 5, then the finals from best of 5 to best of 3, and then this? Joke!

madmax Says:

Ezorra, yeah i know. but i have been so looking forward to watching roger play and for him to go out in second round at rome, was really disappointing for me as a fan, especially because of three things:

1)facebook/pictures of roger practising, looking happy, feeling great.

2) his recent interviews saying that he wants to win masters and they are still important to him.

3) He was playing like A-Roger in the first set against Gulbis and I still dont know what happened there. Final set yes, 5:5, he should have clinched it. Am just still disappointed that’s all. I need to move on!

Cam Says:

People shouldn’t judge Roger by his performance at Masters, everyone knows that he only cares about slams, he is playing Estoril because he would have finished his shopping, and he has got nothing better to do.

blank Says:

Skorocel: “4 matches to win a title? LOL! What happened to ATP these days? Firstly, they cut the MS events from 6 matches to 5, then the finals from best of 5 to best of 3, and then this? Joke!”

I totally agree. And despite all this everyone still keeps complaining about how tough the calendar is. Maybe what’s going to come next is how they do in chess. The challengers play all the matches and the ‘challenger’ winner meets the defending champion for one world championship deciding match. Just imagine everyone slugging through 6 5-set matches at the FO and Nadal is waiting there fresh to devour some tired meat! It will be unbelievable!

madmax Says:

This FO going to be very different from last year with key players not in the mix, delpo, haas to name but two, am not sure whether nalbandian will be better?, but seems that FO will be wide open in terms of everyone having a shot, BUT the eventual winner, well, it would be easy to say rafa, but am going to stick with Federer to reach the final at the very least. There is no reason why, if he is bringing his “best” to the slams, that he shouldnt go deep.

Plus, I will post next what Roge says about rafa being the favourite. I also see that Gulbis is also now favourite to win FO (i just read that on crunch sports!). Gulbis seems to be experiencing “the murray effect” from last year. The next best thing. Only time will tell.

madmax Says:

“I would love to say I’m the big favorite but I don’t think it’s quite right, even though I won the French Open last year,” Federer said in Rome.

“Rafa has just proven again in Monaco how tough he is. He’s been on an absolute tear on clay for the last five years. He’s hardly lost any matches. You can almost count those on one hand, and he’s only lost one match at the French Open. So I would think he’s still the favorite.“

I dont think roger is under any illusion how difficult the task is going to be with rafa playing such incredible tennis. but if anyone can do it, he can. Who will the pressure be on?

Daniel Says:

Djoko only won 4 matches last yer in Belgrade. Don’t know why all the fuss no?! There other events with 28 players draw.

blank Says:

madmax, let’s not forget the fact that Fed-Nadal semifinals is a real possibility this year at the FO if the current rankings hold, which I think is very likely unless Nadal wins Madrid and Djoko plays like total crap. If Fed reaches the finals beating Nadal (which I would love to see), then he will win the title. But realistically, it’s hard to believe so until Fed proves it once…here is hoping that this is the year that may eventually happen!

jane Says:

Daniel, that’s right – Munich as well has only 28 players I believe. Nothing wrong with a win at a smaller event; it’s still a win, and it’s still match play / practice.

Texas Longhorn Says:

What do you expect in a 250 event? 4 matches is better than none.

madmax Says:


I wish I am it would return. He was so brilliant in working out all the different ramifications of the point system.

Yes, well, I suppose they would meet in the semi finals, but only if they were in opposite sides of the draw? They could be in the same half of the draw, right?

It just seems that only rafa and roger should meet in the final – if you know what I mean, so the more points rafa accrues, the more likely it is that they will meet in finals for the foreseeable future.

I have to close off from the crap which is being written about roger, it doesnt take much does it? Cant wait for the French.
It’s up to roger federer what he wants though isnt it? As fans, we can only go on what we hear from him, and that is that he “loves the game”, his motivation is still there and he still wants to wins masters events and slams.

He just has to prove it now. but the pack is closer blank.

grandslamman Says:

Nadal peaked to early in Monte Carlo. He played the absolute best he could. He will ultimately pay the price for that and I am already seeing a significant difference in his play this week in Rome compared to Monte Carlo. Regardless of whether he wins the title or not I can tell you he is moving slightly slower and is dropping the ball much shorter. I am almost certain his knees are feeling it and he will be under the gun to play Madrid because nobody wants 3 weeks off prior to a slam. On the contrary Roger will begin his rise to peak form in Estoril, but will not peak until Madrid prior to the French Open. Roger knows exactly what he is doing and if some of you cannot see that than you have not watched Federer the last 3 years. He lives by the peaking theory and always wants to play his best the tournament before a slam. Cincinatti, Madrid, and Halle come to mind. With regards to the reference that Federer and Nadal could play in the semis of the French Open. Well I can promise you that will not happen. The reason they put them in the same half for Rome and will do the same for Madrid is so they do not have to do it for Roland Garros. Djokovic and Nadal will be on the same side in Paris while Federer will have Murray or Delpotro in his half. To defend his title in Paris Roger will have to beat Rafa this year, and he will. Roger will defend the title in Paris.

Kimmi Says:

Grandslamman – as long as nadal is seeded # 3 going to FO, there is a 50/50 chance he lands on federer’s half. Draw is random, names are pulled out of hat…It does not matter where nadal landed in Rome or connection whatsoever!

blank Says:

Madmax, I see what you are saying. Ignore the facts, let’s just look at what happened before under similar circumstances…rewind back exactly one year, Fed was doing miserable compared to his standards, other than slugging out a gusty win at the USO’08, he had nothing going well for him (FO wipeout, heartbreaking Wib, disappointing Olympics, tough loss again to Nadal at the AO, inexplicable losses to Djoko at the semis in masters events). Then he came to Madrid and we all know the story.

True, this year Nadal is there and I don’t expect him to be injured or anything…but imo last year was tougher for Fed and he came out with flying colours. This year, the losses are more because of mental issues (confidence, lack of motivation or what ever)…and I think for Fed, that is easy to overcome than any other physical or losing-to-better talent issues (which imo is still non-existent).

So let’s hope these losses will give him a good kick in the butt and set him up perfectly for another wonderful slam summer!!

montecarlo Says:

Hahahaha grandslamman finally returns and guess what? This time French Open hired him to make the draw at French Open. Great Going. :D

I thought you will never return once Federer was dumped by gulbis. LOL

montecarlo Says:

And I am sure the clones AKA Lion,Challengerlevel etc etc.. will also come out from their hiding places once Federer wins Estoril.

Polo Says:

But what if Federer loses again?

blank Says:

Polo: “But what if Federer loses again?”

Then let’s hope he wins the next one after that :-)

montecarlo Says:

@ Polo
The tournament is basically a bye to Roger. Out of that field only Monfils can run Federer close on clay but he too is returning after a long injury layoff. As I said earlier there is no need for Fed fans to panic yet but if he doesn’t win Estoril then that will definitely call for panic button.

Polo Says:

I just hope Fed does not say “Bye!” in his first match. When he played Baghdatis in IW, Berdych in Miami and Gulbis in Rome, I never imagined he could lose to those guys, but he did. Now I can’t be sure anymore everytime he plays.

madmax Says:


(FO wipeout, heartbreaking Wib, disappointing Olympics, tough loss again to Nadal at the AO, inexplicable losses to Djoko at the semis in masters events). Then he came to Madrid and we all know the story.

I see it slightly different my friend:

1) FO final – amazing, third in a row.
2) Wimby final – 6th in a row – could have gone either way – so close. (but understand wimby is close to Roger’s heart, so it was tough).
3) won doubles olympic gold – whooo hooo!
4)AO final – incredible. 2 up in the final set. Lost it. nevertheless, still made the final – go roger!
5) semi finals of masters – still great showing.


if you are talking about what we expect from Roger as being “the best”, “every.single.time”, then I am with you. High expectations, sometimes bring surprise disappointments, tough to handle for fans and roger alike.


blank. we have to wait to see where roger’s head is at. But I like what you say, and I thank you for that. I have complete faith in what roger federer is doing between now and the french. He knows best. He is the.mighty.fed! TMF!


blank Says:

Madmax: “if you are talking about what we expect from Roger as being “the best”, “every.single.time”, then I am with you. High expectations, sometimes bring surprise disappointments, tough to handle for fans and roger alike.”

This is what I am talking about. However, I do understand that it’s virtually impossible to dominate something totally every time (IMO, Fed has set the bar higher than anyone in any sport)…it’s hard to be motivated when there is hardly left to chase or achieve (he has most of the conceivable records)…and that’s how I would explain his recent losses.

But being the champ he is, I am pretty sure these recent losses should be enough to shake him out of that path. And, that’s a good reason why he’ll bounce back strong :-)

blank Says:

Correction. “when there is hardly anything* left to chase or achieve”

Anna Says:

Is this match play at Estoril what Roger needs? Roger is a shoe in as none of the guys in this draw can come close to beating Roger on his worse day. Have any of them ever beat him? It looks like practice to me, but I guess practice can’t hurt. Madrid will be a whole different animal though. Can’t wait to see how the court surface plays, and of course the draw.

Daniel Craig Says:

Why isn’t Murray in the discussion for RG champion? He plays brilliant defensive tennis and, as part of his master plan, he tanked in all his matches since AO to conserve energy and take out Federer in RG. After that, he can retire as he will have nothing else left to prove.

Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, I like your list of positive takes on Federer’s “below-standards” results. But the only one I can’t agree with is 1. Making a third final anywhere is great, but the way he lost that match was just awful, for lack of a better word.

Either way, all this speculation is pretty interesting. It’s almost too easy to rely on history to repeat itself. I want to say that the French Open could be more wide open than we expect, even with Nadal playing so well. But at the same time, I thought the AO would feature surprising results but at the end Federer won. So, I would say we’ll see another Nadal-Federer final. And honestly, if Federer plays well enough to make the final, anything could happen. At this point, even if Nadal won again, I’d love to see a 5-set final for once.

Kimmi Says:

For those interested, here is the race (top 10 only) as of today.

1. Nadal 3230 (150 + 360 + 360 + 360 + 1000 + 1000)

2. Roddick 2450 (250 + 150 + 360 + 90 + 600 + 1000)

3. Federer 2235 (90 + 2000 + 45 + 90 + 10)

4. Verdasco 2205 (180 + 250 + 90 + 45 + 180 + 600 + 500 + 360)

5. Ferrer 2105 (45 + 90 + 150 + 500 + 80 + 10 + 90 + 360 + 180 + 600)

6. Djokovic 1760 (360 + 180 + 80 + 500 + 90 + 10 + 360 + 180)

7. Soderling 1735 (45 + 500 + 80 + 360 + 360 + 300 + 90)

8. Murray 1535 (1200 + 45 + 180 + 10 + 10 + 90)

9. Ljubicic 1390 (20 + 90 + 90 + 1000 + 10 + 90 + 90)

10. Tsonga 1265 (720 + 90 + 45 + 40 + 90 + 10 + 90 + 180)

madmax Says:


I didnt think Rafa gained “any points” as he was defending both back to back titles? Am I wrong?

I dont understand your post above? are you referring to what “could” happen at the FO – sorry to be dense here.


always great to have a conversation with you (when you are like this, nice and sweet).

Well, you know, Ben, FO, that may be so.(your above comment). But again, you could look at it this way:

Fed lost to the king of clay. To rafa “on heat”.

But – he got to the final and to me, no better than the result for rafa losing at the WTF last year, all three matches (i know no comparison with slams/masters year end), but Ben. Who knows what goes through federer’s mind at that time.

The glass is either half empty or half full. I go with half full = still a great year for fed, even though not “all wins”.

Kimmi Says:

Maxi – Nadal defended his points in a 52 week rolling ranking, which is different to a race. What I posted about is the Race. Nadal is leading on the race i.e if you count all his points from beginning of the year till now.

Kimmi Says:

s/b what I posted “above”…

madmax Says:

Thanks Kimmi.

You are an amazing person with stats, are you also I am it? I miss him :(

Kimmi Says:

maxi – I wont take all the credit. I found this on another blog and thought it is very interesting.

madmax Says:

you are also very honest kimmi. i like you. :)

madmax Says:

looks like only you and me here tonight kimmi, sharing a love fest. what’s the weather like where you are? :)

C’moon the fed!

Fot Says:

I’m glad Roger is playing Estoril and by no means is it a ‘gimme’. I remember when Roger played in 2008. He was about to go out in the FIRST round (for him) as he was down something like 1-5 in the 2nd set. But he came back to win that match and won the title. So I don’t care if you’re playing the 100th ranked player – they all can play. PLUS, it’s like a match of their lifetime when they play against Roger so they try their best to beat him. Roger can’t take anything for granted in this tournament – no matter how many matches he has to play. Right now he NEEDS matches. It’s different from practice to actual matches.

So now Gulbis is a strong bet to also win the French? Amazing what one week will do. I do think there is a big difference in playing best-of-3 set matches vs best-of-five in grand slams. I saw Gulbis getting tired in that match in the 3rd set against Rafa. He’ll have to win all his matches in no LESS than 3 sets at the French. And this is from a person who hates to practice. I see a lot of potential from him, but I’m not totally sold on him either. He’s too ‘flaky’ mentally for me right now. Time will tell.

I think I will stick by the folks with history on their side in grand slams to go far this year. We may have ONE surprise person like we did last year in Soderling, but some how I don’t think that will be Gulbis or Verdasco. Just a hunch.

Kimmi Says:

hahah maxi, weather is great here, nice sunny day and hot.

Unfortunely federer has under performed since that great perfomance at the AO. Nadal has caught up with him and overtaken him with perfomance this year so far. It looks like nadal will gain more points in madrid and FO and give himself a cushion once the HC season starts.

Anyways, I know it is still too early but fed needs to starts to play well..because he does not want to be left far behind if he want to keep his # 1 ranking at the end of the year.

madmax Says:

Hello Fot!

Here is a comment from Henin about Roger which I think is really, reallllyyyyy, nice.

STUTTGART (Reuters) – Justine Henin was inspired to return to tennis by Roger Federer and the decision was rewarded on Sunday when she beat Australia’s Samantha Stosur in the final of the Stuttgart indoor tournament for her first title since her comeback.

It was the Belgian’s first tournament on clay, her favored surface on which she has won four French Open titles, since she ended her 19-month self-imposed exile at the start of the year.

Henin, runner-up at Brisbane and the Australian Open in January, won 6-4 2-6 6-1 to end Stosur’s 11-match winning run.

“I never thought I would be back here,” said Henin in an on-court interview. “On clay, it means a lot to me.”

“When I saw Roger Federer winning the French Open (in 2009), I had a lot of respect. That brought back the fire that wasn’t there anymore.

“It’s been a lot of work to get back and it’s not over.”

Henin’s victory came less than a month before she is due to return to Roland Garros for the first time since winning the title there in 2007.

A break in the fifth game was enough to give wild card entry Henin the first set against the world number 10.

I hope Roger reads this from Henin.

madmax Says:

Hello Kimmi. yes, i agree with you. i keep knocking my head against a wall, reminding myself how lucky i am to be alive and watching roger federer play, experiencing all these highs and lows with him, and i know one day, it will have to end. i know that. but you know, i still feel that is a long way off. I love the guy Kimmi. he is marmite to my toast. without marmite, toast would be so boring.

Roger is the best player, beset right now by loss of focus, despite his words to the contrary. BUT. he must move forward kimmi and give the best that he can.

Even for Estoril, 4 matches or 7 matches, he still needs to win them.

C’moon the fed!

Fot Says:

madmax, yes I had heard that from Justine before today. How Roger’s victory at the French inspired her to come back. I love reading things like this about Roger and there are a lot to read because other players think very highly of Roger. I have several ‘quotes’ from other players praising Roger and saying good things about him that we ‘normal’ folks would never even have known. Kuzzy said Roger helped her; all the training partners Roger has say they were so nervous when they first start, but he’s so ‘down to earth’ and ‘nice’ that he put them right at ease and how he ‘remembers’ their names and speaks to them every time he sees them in the locker room, etc. In addition to his ‘tennis’ – these are some of the things that endears me to Roger more.

(now if he will only start winning again!) *wink* lol! But seriously, I think all the other players would still exchange their year so far with what Roger has done (winning the AO). All of them!

madmax Says:

Fot, yes. This is a late night for me. Just finished a batch of work, and had a glass of red wine. Nice.

I read about Kuzzy saying these things last year. She was very down I think and Roger gave her a lending ear and some words of advice, which she never forgot and she mentioned him in her interview. He is such an inspiration for everyone.

Hard work pays great rewards FOT, he works so hard, and has worked so hard, is it too much to ask for more from the great maestro? I think not Fot!

Winning should come easy to him.

I watched rafa play today. His face was PURE CONFIDENCE. I dont know why Roger ever doubts his talents. He is the best. Sometimes I think it is just down to pure motivation. I dont see a vast difference in his shots. In fact last year – towards end – I thought that Roger was playing the best I have ever seen (at USO semi final in particular.

That one shot of him, primal really, roaring, body open wide, passion personified, motivation more than ever, THAT one point which separated him from the extraordinary to the orbital, only roger federer could do that. He is AWESOME.

It has to be in there somewhere, and now is the time for it to resurface FOT. NOW!

nihal bhat Says:

rafa is the number 1 player now. very confident.

madmax Says:

a bit of memory lane here. I just have always loved this youtube of roge and andy. It just always makes me smile!

Oh Roger! Please play like this again!

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t understand why people are making a big fuss over Federer only needing 4 matches to win Estoril. It’s a 250 event, how many matches would one expect? The slams are 7, the Masters or 5 (6 if you’re not seeded), so level 500s and 250s should be even less than that. Should Federer win all 4 matches, it’s a nice way of easing into the clay and back into form.

Skorocel mentioned how the Masters finals are best of 3 instead of best of 5. As much as I love 5 set matches (and we’ve seen a lot of good ones in the Masters), they are particularly draining. Especially if, for someone like Nadal who makes so many Masters finals, to have to play 5 sets in all of them. And on clay, too.

The one Masters event that should definitely have a 5 set final is the YEC. The last two years have had unbelievably anticlimactic finals. And it’s possible both matches would still have been straight set affairs, but 3 sets is still a more fitting ending to the year than 2. Bleacherreport has a good article about this whole little controversy (sorry I don’t have the link).

madmax Says:

hello ben. Presumably you are talking about when the masters used to be 5 sets? Now 3 sets.

Fot, here is one more for tonight for the grandslamman! (listen to the words of the song :))

Ben Pronin Says:

Great song madmax.

skeezerweezer Says:

Fed is in such new territory since last year. GS title holder, Holder of GS titles, and finally an FO title. New kids, marriage, and oh yeah, shopping with the Fam in Rome.

Who knows? IMO he has to be motivated,focused, physically, mentally, and at 28, a healthy 28, age IMO is not a factor.

One thing we/he should count on in is preparation/attitude from here on tell he is done. He should feel NO pressure. Why? he has the GS record, along with others, and he has done his bit, even if he hung it up tomorrow, he is the GOAT/KING overall. He has set the bar, and it’s high.

Can he reach higher? His call…….


Kimmi Says:

interestind article about Verdasco, hantuchova and now gonzalez working with Darren Cahill

I think this partnership have helped Verdasco a lot.

Skorocel Says:

Fot: „I’m glad Roger is playing Estoril and by no means is it a ‘gimme’.“

Not a gimme? If Federer doesn’t win this, then he should stay in Rome shopping!

Texas Longhorn Says:

I agree with Fot. Don’t expect Estoril to be a walk in the park. He could play Bjorn Phau in his first match.
It’s okay if Roger wants to go shopping, he has always had other interests outside of tennis, which is healthy. Not all tennis players are on court 24/7.

Bryan Says:

Of course it’s going to be a walk in the park, seriously people stop with the false modesty. I don’t even think Federer has to bring his A game to win Estoril. The fact that’s it’s a 250 event with minions, coupled with the fact that Federer is the 2nd best player on CLAY and the last fact that some of the opponents he’ll play would have already lost mentally before coming out on court, should make this an easy one for him.

Will be shocked if he drops a set.

Naderer Says:

imagine this….
Nadal playing for his career slam…
Federer playin for a calender slam
Wouldnt this b aweome……? So wot im sayin is that Fed should win both french open and wimbledon, then nadal should meet Federer

Naderer Says:

In the final

Colleen Says:

Estoril used to be semi prestigious w/its place in the clay court calendar, and would draw folks like Davydenko, Nalbandian, etc. Now it’s squished in and to be honest, the draw is an absolute joke. 4 matches for a title is TOO FEW, I don’t care if you’re ranked #1 or not. W/ Monfils and Ljubicic both withdrawing, Montanes is the de facto #2 seed, leaving the bottom 1/2 of the draw completely plundered.

Nothing against Fed for playing here, but if he doesn’t rake in the title, yeah, he’s in trouble.

Top story: Nadal Survives Shapovalov Epic At Rome Masters; Djokovic Rolls, Thiem Upset