Rome Draw: Roger Federer Returns, Faces Brutal Road; Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal QF?
by Sean Randall | May 6th, 2016, 3:02 pm

Yikes! After withdrawing from Madrid due to a bad back, Roger Federer is in the Rome draw. However, the Swiss might have second thoughts about playing in the city where he’s never won. Because he’s not winning this year either.

Federer, the 2015 Rome runner-up to Novak Djokovic, will open the event against either Grigor Dimitrov or Alexander Zverev followed by a rested Dominic Thiem in the third round. Kei Nishikori awaits in the quarters before either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Without going too deep, I’d have to like Nishikori or Thiem to get through.

Two-time defending champion Djokovic is in the top quarter with Gael Monfils in his third round before a quarterfinal encounter with Rafael Nadal in what could be a rematch of the Sunday Madrid final. Nadal’s road, though, looks like Philipp Kohlschreiber, Milos Raonic and then Djokovic. And Rafa looked a little shaky today against Joao Sousa.

In the bottom half, Stan Wawrinka and JW Tsonga are the favorites in a wide open third quarter. Neither has been terribly convincing this clay season so maybe David Ferrer, who coming off injury, or home favorite Fabio Fognini can take advantage.

Andy Murray sets up to face Tomas Berdych again in his quarter (he just beat the Czech today in the Madrid quarters). Maybe David Goffin can upset Berdych, otherwise Murray should reach the semifinals.

Projected Quarterfinals:

And some of the earlier matches include Thiem-Dolgopolov, Bellucci-Monfils, Zverev-Dimitrov, Anderson-Lopez and second rounders like Federer-Zverev/Dimitrov, Murray-Coric, Wawrinka-Paire, Ferrer-Fognini and Raonic-Kyrgios.

So the top half is loaded, the bottom is anything but. So Murray, who had a good draw this week in Madrid, has to be happy and in good shape to lock up that No. 2 seeding at the French Open (Federer is defending his Rome final points).

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29 Comments for Rome Draw: Roger Federer Returns, Faces Brutal Road; Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal QF?

Daniel Says:

Who knows, Kei may be spent with a lot of matches this last weeks, he tends to have some physical issues and Djoko x Nadal may kill each other ala Madrid 2009. Lol

Jun Says:

The Laver GOATs in the same half? Wow. Should be good.

On paper…
Murray got the easiest draw.
Old co-GOAT Federer 2nd easiest draw (on paper and in real life).
Then Nadal.
Then Young Co-GOAT Djoker.

Then again any draw is easy for the newly-installed co-GOAT.

I wish the co-GOATs were in the same quarter. Better chance that they’ll actually meet.

Wog Boy Says:

I would call Nole spoiler-GOAT.

Michael Says:

In my opinion, it would be better for Roger to skip totally the Clay tourneys and concentrate on Wimbledon instead where he has greater chances to win to add to his already imposing numbers.

Van Persie Says:

Would like to see a Zverev- Fed match

Andy Says:

“…the Swiss might have second thoughts about playing in the city where he’s never won. Because he’s not winning this year either.”

Stopped reading…

Jun Says:

Rafa is not in Roger’s quarter, so Roger’s draw is quite cushy actually. Not as cushy as Andy’s draw, but deep in Roger’s brain: “Rafa is Rafa”.

jalep Says:

Me too, Van Persie! Hoping for Sascha v Fed.

Rome qualifying is on — I’m watching the Stepanek vs Fritz score. Old Radek is a sly one. 😯 Taylor, born in 1997, a year after Radek turned pro, and it’s very bad luck that Taylor got him 1st round. Shoot – Fritz bandwagon pulling away slowly.

Happy Pouille made it.

Martin rivkin Says:

next year between aussie open and rome clay fed has no points to defend so could he make big push for number 1 or 2 in world again???in 2017 ..ideal then win a slam and retire at the top

Pauly Says:

Nadal was the GOAT in 2010 2013
Djokovic was GOAT in 2011 2015
Federer was GOAT in 2006 2007

No clear GOATS
All three great

Pauly Says:

Uncle Toni recently claimed his nephew would’ve done better if not for injuries I agree with that 100%
Plus that Djokovic was only dominating Coz Federer & Nadal in decline … I only agree with that partly Coz Djokovic could beat both of them at their best
All three are champions
It matters little who is GOAT in the fans minds
Their records will be hard to equal let alone beat
Bravo all three amigos πŸ‘

Mg Mg Says:

Even if it is clay, when conditions are heavy and weather is cold, Rafa’s game will not be effective. Unfortunately it is gonna rain and conditions will be heavy later this week.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow, that’s a brutal draw for Federer. If he can make it to the semis, I’ll be thrilled. Heck, I’ll be happy if he can make it to the quarters.

skeezer Says:

^Well Fed can enjoy is #2 ranking for a bit:
That is some good news, but this draw doesn’t look good for him.
Just saw in the link that Novaks points are over twice as much as #2, not that is A LOT.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Its amazing that Fed has basically fallen into the #2 spot, because his results in 2016 have not been great at all.

It just shows how inconsistent the field has become outside of Novak.

But backing into it aside, #2 is still #2, and just an amazing achievement for a 34 year old. Has this been done before?

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I seemed to have missed the news, but Del Potro withdrew a few days ago with wrist issues.

If his comeback is off the rails, quite sad, but it will make that win over Dominic Thiem something special in his own personal history.

skeezer Says:

Well its either the Field is not that good anymore or Novak is that dominant. Probably most likely …..both. Rafa and Fed have been injured and Andy goes on walkabouts here and there. Novak has probably been the most healthy guy the last 5 years…..not that it would have mattered..maybe sorta kinda?

Serious injuries in that time span:

Murray – back surgery
Fed – Back issues and knee surgery….oh and that age thingy ;)
Rafa – No surgeries but plenty of metal/physical issues
Novak – ___________________ I’ll let the Novak worshippers insert blank

Okiegal Says:

@Skeezer 1:36……. yes, serious injuries….Novak-healthy as a horse…..(not a Novak worshipper, more of a conscientious objector….for obvious reasons) LOL>

Okiegal Says:

It took everything that DelPo’s wrist had to offer…poor guy…..I just believe with all my heart he is finished….rag wrist! How can you recover from this type of injury when hard hitting is your thing…..

RZ Says:

Nice wins from Generation Next members Thiem and Zverev, and a very close loss by Coric to Kukushkin. Looks like Generation-Supposed-To-Be-Next member Dmitrov lost pretty tamely to Zverev.

jalep Says:

Yep, RZ. We get Sascha vs Fed for Fed’s 1st match Wed. or whenever it is. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes!
Surprised a little that Coric lost to Kukushkin. Dimitrov needs help. Thiem and Zverev are playing Doubles tomorrow.

Schedule for tomorrow. I like:

RZ Says:

@Jalep – yes, nice matches tomorrow including the Battle for the Johannas. Go Konta!

Green Lady Says:

Jalep from the other thread, what did you mean currying favour with me, sorry but have i upset you in some way ? ….

Green Lady Says:

Okie sad to say this as i love Delpo, but i think he will retire at the end of the year ….

Okiegal Says:

I think you are probably right, GL!

Wog Boy Says:

Gael Monfils in Rome getting ready for NBA career:

danica Says:

I am not surprised Coric lost to Kukushkin. Kukushkin is one hella great player although inconsistent. Nole barely managed to win against him, in DC, in five sets, at home, couple of months ago. He himself told that was one of the toughest matches he played.

Giles Says:

So, joker gets another cake walk draw!!! His first opponent is a 35 year old. Enjoy while you can joker. 😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑

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