Does Nadal Have Anything Left in the Tank for Rome? Preview
by Staff | May 14th, 2017, 12:32 pm

Thirteen of the Top 15 players post this week in Rome for the Italian Open, where the Masters 1000 grind continues on the heels of the Madrid Open.

Rafael Nadal is back to his top claycourt form, while world No. 1 Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are trying to play catch-up.

Here’s a look at the 2017 Italian Open field:

Seeds: Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, Grigor Dimitrov, Lucas Pouille, Tomas Berdych, Jack Sock, Albert Ramos Vinolas, Pablo Carreno Busta, Alexander Zverev

Floaters: Fabio Fognini, Tommy Haas, Ivo Karlovic, Nicolas Mahut, Benoit Paire, Pablo Cuevas, Diego Schwartzman, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon, Nick Kyrgios, Roberto Bautista Agut, Juan Martin del Potro

Notes: It’s floater central in Rome, where Nadal and Thiem have to come in a little gassed from the Madrid final…Tough starts for (1) Murray vs. Fognini, (5) Raonic vs. the Haas-Dr. Ivo winner, (3) Wawrinka starting against a tough Frenchman in either Mahut or Paire, (8) Thiem vs. Cuevas, (13) Sock vs. the hot-handed Schwartzman, an injured (7) Nishikori vs. the Ferrer-Lopez winner, (10) Dimitrov vs. Del Potro, (15) Carreno Busta vs. Simon (winner to face the Kyrgios-Bautista Agut winner, then (2) Djokovic)…The all-Italian wildcard line-up is Matteo Berrettini, Gianluca Mager, Stefano Napolitano and Seppi…Notables making it through the tough qualifying cut-off were Nicolas Almagro and Kevin Anderson…Pulling from the field were Marcos Baghdatis, Roger Federer, Richard Gasquet, Steve Johnson, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Paolo Lorenzi, Gael Monfils, Gilles Muller, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga…Murray beat Djokovic in last year’s final…Former champs in the field are Murray (2016), Djokovic (2015-14,’11,’08), and the seven-time champion Nadal (2013-12,’10-09,’07-05).

You Might Like:
Sharapova Outlasts Gassed Suarez Navarro in WTA Rome Final
Poll: Novak Djokovic Or Rafael Nadal, Who Wins Their 49th Meeting Friday In Rome?
Novak Djokovic Says He Still Has Plenty Of Gas In His Tank And Many Years Left On Tour
Halep Wins First Rome Masters After Pliskova Retires
Former Champion Simona Halep Withdraws From French Open

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

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

31 Comments for Does Nadal Have Anything Left in the Tank for Rome? Preview

Miles Says:

Although playing much better than last year, there is no way in the world that Rafa is back to his top clay court form.

Watching him today, I’m convinced he won’t win Roland Garros – especially if the umpires enforce the 20 second rule.

gonzalowski Says:

Miles you are a positive guy, aren’t you?

Giles Says:

Miles. FOS!!!!
Vamos Champ!
Well done!!!

Giles Says:

And this is the reason why fed opted out of the CC tourneys! Hahaha

Margot Says:

How about, “Do Rafa and Dom have anything left in the tank for Rome?”
Only fair.

AndyMira Says:

Yeah M!..That’s why you’re one of the most fair and nice poster’s on TX…..LONG LIVE WELSHWITCH!!

Colin Says:

Thiem was clearly tired after his nighttime semi final, but he played very well and Rafa had to work hard for the win. The Austrian could have done a bit of lobbing, which can be effective against Rafa.

Of the top-ranked players searching for form, I feel Andy is in a better place than Nole. Andy frankly admitted he didn’t know why he played so poorly against Coric. If he can avoid early pitfalls in Rome, he and his team may well find an answer. Nole, it seems to me, DOES know why he is in a slump, and is thrashing about somewhat frantically in response.

chrisford1 Says:

Nadal has run the clay table before. Twice I think. Right now he is 2 Masters, his selected 500 (Barcelona – his fave). And has Roma and the French Open to go.
Then, when overloads on clay and gets worn down, he claims injury as early as Wimbledon and skips events.

monterey Says:

Federer was quite correct when he said in Miami that Rafa was going to “tear it up” (or something like that) during the clay season. Rafa is playing some serious tennis at the moment.

This is incredible…like 10 years ago when Fed and Rafa ruled the tour. A time warp.

But I can see Novak get back very quickly to his former self. Maybe a victory in Rome or RG will do the trick. You never know when it will happen, but I’m sure Novak has a few majors left in him.

Wog Boy Says:

Congrats to Rafa and his fans, almost all of his fans, though I was going for Thiem, Rafa was simply better.

He has plenty of gas left in the tank, the question is if he is going to push so hard to win it, I don’t think he will, no need to do so, la decima in Paris is far more important than Rome, the man is writing the history again and the history will be written in Paris not Rome. I don’t see anybody bar injury stoping him.

skeezer Says:

Thiught Theim played great, Rafa was just better. Chalk it up to experience.

Lylenubbins Says:

Rafa gets better the more he plays, it’s all about grooving the strokes any building the confidence to go for his shots. BTW great showing by Thiem, there were chunks of that match where he was beating Rafa soundly

J.S. Says:

Thiem is one of my favourites along with Zverev. Always rooting for Rafa, and hoping Andy starts winning too – Thiem played his heart out the last couple of weeks BUT clearly Rafa is unstoppable “KING OF CLAY” and NO ONE will take that title away from him.

Thiem is more dangerous than, Novak, Andy, Stan, Milos or Nishikori…..MY opinion!

VAMOS!!!!! And, I think he should skip Rome (but will he?)

PEACE RAFA FANS!!! Another great Sunday Final

J.S. Says:

TY Andy Mira…..Great article about choosing to play in Rome!

Sivaji Says:

Congrats Rafa, but he is not up to his mark in Madrid, he usually has less success there. Hope come back clear clay form in Rome so that he can win RG. Like Roger skipping CC, Rafa takes light of Wimbly, then he can give good fight at USO.

Humble Rafa Says:

Watching him today, I’m convinced he won’t win Roland Garros – especially if the umpires enforce the 20 second rule.

I am aware of no such 20 second rule. It is a made up rule, made up by those who hate tennis.

skeezer Says:

20 second rule? LMAO what rule? If it was enforced properly he would have 3 Slams, tops, not 14.

madmax Says:


I hear you. What can be done? It is something that seems to have been “accepted”. “Accepting” the “Unacceptable”. I think the umpires are aware of this, so why isn’t something done, in your opinion? You play tennis/you now the rules.

Willow Says:

Thanks Madmax, and yes i agree, in that Rafa needs to get a move on between points, and without getting deffensive, so do alot of other players ….

Margot Says:

I wasn’t clock watching but wasn’t Thiem taking his time as well?

gonzalowski Says:

I first noticed that they didn’t respect 20 secs rule at this clay season in the match against Nole, who on the 1st set spent even more time than Rafa, and the umpire said nothing to both of them.

J-Kath Says:

Happy birthday to Andy today and to Nole next Monday. Gentlemen, it’s time to smell the roses before Autumn comes.

Kyrios has his first professional coach: Sebastien Grosjean who was world No. 4 during his career.

There’s a rather perplexing title on one article – effectively it says “Here is Roger’s new outfit for the French Open….but there is no guarantee he’s going to play!!!!”

Daniel Says:

Wasn’t able to watch the match (mother days lunch in Brazil), but it looks like Thirm gave Nadal a fight.

Nadal have never ever won 3 masters plus Barcelona before RG before. He won the three Masters only once, in 210 when he skipped Barcelona and than when on to win RG so he stayed perfect onclay.

This year he has a chance to win 3 Masters and Barca entering RG for the first time. But also agree with some
Above, qhat matters now is RG, not Rome. Some qhat his mind will be just a bit off and that would be enough for somebody to beat him in Rome. Plus he played a few long matches and even tough the Djoko won was easy, it eas tense mentally for him to overcome that loaijg streak.

The obly player he didn’t gauge his clag game so far is Murray and Federer. And Federer match can only happen in RG where Nadal
Is most confident.

But looking at his draw if he keeps winning easy I wouldn’t be surprise if he win Rome again. Based on the past and his motivation so close to Garros I think not.

Luca Says:

Nadal has to be worn out. The guy hasn’t lost a match! I don’t think he’ll win Rome, but he’ll have a good run.

If you guys don’t mind, could you visit It’s a new and upcoming site, and we’ll have an article on Federer and the French Open up at 11:30 CDT. Thank you so much!

Miles Says:

“Giles Says:
And this is the reason why fed opted out of the CC tourneys! Hahaha”

Sure, that’s the reason!
Nadal is not the player he was and is unlikely to win RG, because his exertions of the past 4 months are likely to catch up with him.

The way he’s sweating is a cause for concern, too. His electrolytes must be severely depleted after a regulation 2 set win – can’t see how he’s going to manage best of 5 after the run of matches he’s had.

gonzalowski Says:

“electrolytes??” oh please, the man takes his bananas, and has plenty of bottles to supply ;)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I have seen most of Rafa’s big matches this year, and I don’t think Rafa this week is as good as Monte Carlo Rafa. Then, he was at or near all-time highs. Now, he’s still miles ahead of the field, but its hard to gauge: there’s no clay quality out there with Novak and Murray so diminished this year. At Monte Carlo, his shotmaking was incredible. he was aggressive and creative. At Madrid, it looked to me more like early Rafa: way behind the baseline, moving the opponent around with low-risk topspin, and striking at the right time — except now, there’re a lot more errors than 10 years ago.

That’s a lot of criticism against the BY FAR best player on tour right now, but what the heck, we’re all just hear to shoot the breeze… that’s what I see.

I think Rafa is going to make the finals here, and I think he will start to succumb physically in the second week of RG.

raidermarc Says:

I agree with you tennis vagabond. Im concerned about rafa playing too too much . winning 3 straight clay court tournaments at his age 31 is quite a fear BUT he has to rest he HAS TO PLAY IT SMART. HE SHOULD FORSAKE ROME AND REST UP BUT WHAT WILL NADAL DO? HE’LL PLAY AND THEN HE’LL RUN OUT OF GAS IN FRANCE. BAD BAD BAD DECISION TO PLAY ROME

Giles Says:

Nadal swearing profusely is nothing new. Just shows you know nought!!

Top story: Alcaraz, Zverev, Muguruza, Gauff Headline Day 1 At 2022 French Open