Hey guys, the Rome Draw has just taken place and Federer is once again in the mix. After withdrawing before even hitting a ball in Madrid the Swiss said the goal was to play at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and it looks like his back has sorted itself out in time for him to take to the courts. You can see his projected opponents below in what is a packed top half of the draw:
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Alexander Zverev / Grigor Dimitrov
- Round 3: Dominic Thiem
- Quarter Finals: Kei Nishikori
- Semi Final: Novak Djokovic / Rafael Nadal
- Final: Andy Murray
Thoughts on the Draw
Roger's landed in the same half of the draw as both Djokovic and Nadal and his section is loaded with high quality opposition. Roger's first match will either be Alexander Zverev who's on the up or Dimitrov, who after getting defaulted in the final of Istanbul, is seemingly on the down. I can see Dimitrov winning that encounter if he's regrouped after his meltdown but it will be a close one, probably 3 sets.
Who would Fed rather face? Probably no real preference and both guys will be something of a test in his first match for 4 weeks or so. He's only ever faced Zverev in practice though so that's the match I'd like to see.
Into the third round and like Madrid, Dominic Thiem is the seeded opponent. The Austrian looked a little tired in the Spanish capital when he lost to Del Potro and he has to overcome Dolgopolov in his opener who can play well on all surfaces. Sousa is also in with a shout after making the Quarter Finals in Madrid (l. Nadal). I don't really see any of them causing Fed too many problems though here; potentially Sousa if he red lines like Halle.
The Quarters would then be Nishikori who's had some good wins in Madrid this week, beating Fognini who served for the match and then defeating Kyrgios from a set down in the Quarter Finals today. Never an easy opponent as he moves like grease lightning and when he's ‘on' there's few better early ball strikers.
If Federer makes the semi finals then it's hard to see his opponent not being either Djokovic or Nadal. Both guys are in the Madrid Semi Finals tomorrow and both look to be in decent form so I guess whatever happens at the Caja Magica in the next 2 days will play a part in who comes through that one.
Final is then Murray who only really has Berdych in his quarter of the draw who has crumbled this year as soon as he runs into Top 10 opposition. Stan usually plays well in Rome so I'd make him my favourite to make the semi finals from the other Quarter and then it's anyone guess.
Expectations? Zero. After last week I'm just hoping Federer can step onto court for a change and show us all some tennis worth watching 🙂 Let me know what you think of the draw in the comments.