No real shocks so far in Rome this week, as Djokovic, Nadal and Federer all make Friday’s quarter-final line-up.
The Week So Far
Aside from the big names, there’s no question who has provided the story of the week so far in the Italian Capital. 28-year-old Italian, Andreas Seppi has had his home supporters on their feet all week, following two of the most impressive performances of his career.
After dropping the first set to current world no.9, John Isner on Wednesday, it looked as if the Italian would fade away and out of the event. A stirring second set saw Seppi squeeze through in the tie-break, and following another tight decider, Seppi came through 7-5 to book himself a place in the last 16. A brilliant match for tennis traders – players odds at the start of the game were borderline for Tennis Trading but anyone who took the risk was well rewarded. Big price fluctuations in the match meant over a dozen great opportunities for tennis traders.
Seppi’s match on Thursday was one to look forward to. Tennis Traders were not disappointed. In his match with Stanislaus Warwrinka, Seppi again gave away the first set, this time on a tie-break, before again rallying to take the next two sets, both on tie breaks.
Astonishingly, Seppi saved six match points across the final two sets, and goes into Friday’s quarter-final with Roger Federer in the form of his life.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic gave his supporters a scare when he dropped the first set to Juan Monaco on Thursday afternoon, but the Serb showed his mental steel to bounce back and comfortably take the next two sets, without loss of his serve. Fans of ChampWinnings made massive profits on the first set, but there wasn’t much action during the rest of the match.
Smooth sailing so for Nadal and Federer. After last week’s shock in Madrid, Rafa has bounced back in style and looked at his best, in comfortable victories over Mayer and Granollers.
Despite the loss of the second set to Juan Carlos Ferrero last on Thursday evening, Roger has picked up where he left off in Madrid. If the Swiss can go all the way and win this title, the talk of a return to the top of the rankings will continue to gather momentum.
Andy Murray will be hugely disappointed with his Rome campaign. The Scot was extremely fortunate to sneak through his opening match with David Nalbandian on Tuesday afternoon, and after taking the first set off Richard Gasquet on Thursday, he suffered a monumental collapse and dropped out of the event ahead of the quarter-finals. What was bad for Murray turned out to be great for Tennis Traders – big price fluctuations in the second and third sets meant Scalping and RYP were in full effect with many opportunities in the match.
There’s plenty to look forward to across the weekend, and with so many big names remaining in both the men’s and women’s events, there’s no room for anyone to be casting their minds forward to next week’s French Open in Paris.
First up on Centrale, it’s Rafa Nadal v Tomas Berdych. Nadal has won 11 of the 14 meetings between the two, but the Czech star is in a rich vein of form and was unlucky not to leave Madrid with the title last Sunday.
The following match sees Novak Djokovic face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga was impressive in his victory over Del Potro on Thursday evening and the Frenchman holds a 5-4 head-to-head lead over the Serb, having come through via a walkover in Paris last October.
The biggest match of the day takes place late into the Rome night as Roger Federer takes on home favourite Andreas Seppi. Seppi has not defeated Federer in eight attempts and it’s tough imagining him succeeding here either. It’s been a big week for Seppi though, and you couldn’t be 100% sure that the roar of the vociferous home crowd won’t see him through again.
Moving over the weekend, we could see Djokovic v Federer and Nadal v Ferrer on Saturday, with a possible Federer/Djokovic v Nadal final on Sunday afternoon.
Over in the women’s event, it’s been a better week so far for Petra Kvitova, whose form had fallen off a cliff in recent weeks. Kvitova should be able to overcome Kerber on Friday, before a likely meeting with Sharapova in Saturday’s semi-final.
Serena William is still in there too, and looks on course to reach another final, where she’ll likely meet Sharapova or Kvitova.
Matches to watch this weekend:
Quarter-final: Rafa Nadal v Tomas Berdych
Quarter-final: Novak Djokovic v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Quarter-final: David Ferrer v Richard Gasquet
Quarter-final: Roger Federer v Andreas Seppi
Semi-final: Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic
Semi-final: Rafa Nadal v David Ferrer
Final: Djokovic/Federer v Nadal
Quarter-final: Maria Sharapova v Venus Williams
Quarter-final: Petra Kvitova v Angelique Kerber
Quarter-final: Serena Williams v Flavia Pennetta
Quarter-final: Na Li v Dominika Cibulkova
Final: Petra Kvitova v Serena Williams