ATP Masters 1000Roger FedererRome Masters

Promising Draw in Rome for Federer

The good thing about the Mutua Madrid Open is that Rome immediately follows it meaning there's little time for Roger, or his fan to dwell on his loss to Nishikori earlier in the week.

The semi finals in Madrid haven't even been completed yet and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2013 Draw is already out, whoop! Not only that it's a good one as far as Federer is concerned it's a good one.

Federer & Nadal in Separate Halves

Federer Rome Draw

The biggest surprise is that Federer and Nadal have been drawn in separate halves of the draw. Something like this is a rarity and as usual I fully expected them to be drawn in the same Quarter but whoever rigged the Rome draw this year obviously is a true tennis fan and kept them apart. This is very good news as it means a potential Djokovic Nadal semi final and Federer Murray on the other.

Federer's Potential Opponents

  • 2nd Round: Stepanek / Starace
  • 3rd Round: Haas / Simon
  • Quarter Finals: Tsonga / Dimitrov / Gasquet
  • Semi Finals: Murray
  • Finals: Djokovic

Full Rome Master Draw in .PDF form here.

Federer's Chance To Redeem Himself

Federer Twins

After the disappointing loss in Madrid this draw gives Roger a great chance to redeem himself, he will likely start against Radek Stepanek which is a rematch from Madrid. I see the result being identical, Stepanek wasn't looking at all dangerous and on a slower surface like Rome it should be routine.

I suppose we shouldn't count out Potito Starace as he's playing in front of his homecrowd with a wild card so might rise to the ocassion. He's made the third round in Rome before which isn't a bad effort. Either way Roger owns both these guys in the H2H and has bagelled Starace twice in 6 meetings and has only ever dropped 1 set to the guy, way back in 2004 in Gstaad.

After that it could be a tricky third round against Tommy Haas or Gilles Simon. I'm expecting it to be Tommy Haas who's been playing at a crazily high level for the last couple of months and should be able to see off a pusher like Simon.

It's actually been pretty special watching Haas lately schooling guys from the new generation, just shows that guys like him, Federer and Robredo etc came through in the strongest era of tennis ever and are still capable of producing the goods and seeing off guys who are entering their prime.

Haas will certainly be a test based on the form he's shown of late, he won their last meeting in Halle last year too but I think Roger will be out to prove a point in Rome so should be pretty motivated. He has no Nadal in his draw to play on his mind, so if he does lose early we can rule out the sub conscious lack of motivation I suggested as a reason for his loss in Madrid caused by potentially facing Nadal.

The quarter final is another interesting one and it could be against any one of three players – Tsonga, Dimitrov or Gasquet. I'm going to predict Dimitrov loses early in Rome after his exploits in Madrid. I also don't think clay is a fitting surface for him to have his first meeting with Roger on either so I'd prefer them to be kept apart.

Tsonga is probably the most likely opponent having just lost a tight match to Wawrinka in Madrid so he's match sharp but will be fresh too. Tsonga is actually pretty good on clay to say it's not his favourite surface and he can adapt his game quite well so he's of course a threat.

Gasquet has beaten Federer in Rome before and has made the semi finals that year too but that was a freak type match, perhaps a little like the Nishikori one where it was more about Federer 2.0 than Gasquet's great play.

The semi final is seeded to be against Murray who has so far completely crashed on clay losing early in both Monte Carlo and Madrid. He has a losing record in Rome too so it's likely his poor form could continue. Del Potro is back after a virus ruled him out of Madrid so he might be a factor but he could be lacking match practice / fitness.

Despite what's happened since Australia I'm feeling pretty optimistic about Roger's chances here. The draw is a useful one and even though Roger has been playing poorly it's nothing to do with his abilities. It's all mental with him right now, he was at his best at the Australia Open and since then has just doubted himself on court and not been able to fight or win a match when not at his best.

I'm hoping he can turn it round in Rome, I don't have stupid expectations but I at the very least expect to see him make a solid effort to reach the business end of the tournament.

My prediction: Federer makes the semi final.

My Predictions for Elsewhere in the Draw

  • Dimitrov to lose early
  • Verdasco to beat Ferrer
  • Almagro to beat Del Potro
  • Djokovic to bounce back and make the final

What do you guys think of the draw? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Whoever rigged this years Rome draw knew that Roger would deliberately tank if he was drawn with Nadal 🙂

      1. Nah Ajay, they are simply appeasing Roger, setting him up for another gun fight with Nadal in Paris. Roger will make the final. After that he is on his own 🙂

      2. You guys seem so sure that the draws are rigged..But its so strange that Ferrer keeps getting Nadal in his quarter..

      3. [Ferrer keeps getting Nadal in his quarter]

        Even more reason to believe the draws are rigged. Ferrer is Nadal’s vassal. He will do his masters bidding without question (as Jonathan would put it) 🙂

  2. Looks like a tricky 3rd and 4th round match, hard to predict Roger’s form these days. Rome is much slower than Madrid which is going to throw off his rhythm again. Hope he gets to reach the semis this time.

    1. He isn’t in any rhythm so court speed not going to be a factor. Slower courts can give you more rhythm too so I think Rome could go quite well. Guess we’ll find out.

      1. I agree with your assessment. It would help him in Paris. I didn’t watch the Nishikori match but I’m guessing the speed of the surface combined with Kei taking the ball early wasn’t exactly a good welcome back package for Roger.

      2. Kinda, more just Fed playing poorly in third set. He blew Kei away in second set and then just completely stopped playing.

  3. Yeah, hass isn’t going to be easy…. but for once he has a decent draw 😀 And jonathan, you really believe verdasko is going to beat ferrer? I just don’t see it happening, as well as delpo losing to almagro (even though it depends on his recovery from his injury…)i defo think Djoer is making the semis, but i’m not predicting anything between him and nadal… 😀

  4. Dear John I honestly think that Roger has mo excuse for the way he looses agains Kei, sorry but as mayor fan of his I dont think he is puting too much efforts to prevail, I think he needs to stop thinking on ehat he has accomplished all ready, which is very very much, and start thinking that he can do more, if he is not in that mood I think we are watching the begining of the end, I love Roger Federer I admire him all the way there is no other sportman for me better than him in history, but the way he lost in Madrid is just to much pain. Hope he wins Rome.

    1. I’m not making excuses. I don’t think Fed is either.

      Gotta back him here I think to bounce back, he’s in Rome already practicing. Allez!

  5. Promising draw indeed! No Rafa or Djoker before the Finals is just what Fed needs at the French. It looks like Rafa WILL regain the #4 ranking and Fed will be ranked #3. Can 3 and 4 play each other at a major? I don’t think so! 😉 So this could be a blessing in disguise for both Rome and Roland Garros! I think Fed loses early(to Tommy) or goes on and makes the final for the first time in 7 years! Muzz is a joke: Well want him in our FO Draw. Him and Ferrer. Anyways, it’s no cakewalk but I think Roger has finally gotten a better draw than Djoker! So you think Djoker would be the King of Clay in the SF? Thanks for the post 🙂

  6. I’m feeling like Federer’s gonna win rome for the 1st and only time, and its about time he gets this title

    1. My thoughts exactly. This tournament is when Fed starts his great comeback, beats Nadal in the final (finger wag) and wins the French Open and Wimbledon 🙂

      1. Hahah. A win is unlikely but not impossible. Although based on form of late I guess winning it would be a minor miracle 🙂

  7. I’m a bit nervous . I actually think Haas could beat him 🙁 , but I’ll try to stay positive , cause with Roger you just never know , he can defeat anyone , anywhere if he plays good … In normal conditions with a draw like that he would reach the final . Hope the draw at RG will be similar to this one

  8. I am bit scared about Djokovic’s side of the draw..Both Stan and Berdych are there..Hope he gets through and thrashes Nadal..

  9. I don’t think Murray makes the semis. Here’s hoping Djokovic and Nadal have an all-out war with each other and meet Fed in the final.

  10. Yes finally!A very good draw he will have only himself to blame if he dosent get to the final.The most pleasing part of the draw acc. to me is that he has a good chance of facing volandri and simon both of whom he dosent have winning records against.So very good chance to correct those head to heads.Murray is an absolute joke on clay.I hope Federer gets to face Djokovic in the final as he will atleast have a chance of winning.This is the best chance he’ll ever get of adding the Rome trophy to his cabinet so go Federer!

    1. Haha Simon usually gives Roger all kinds of trouble. Weird match up issue for some reason as he’s a total pusher.

      I think he may play Haas.

  11. Its been a really a long time since Roger has had a favourable draw, Emmmmm very interesting??!! I hope Jonathan u r right and Fed bounces back with a vengeance 🙂 . It would also b really nice if Fed gets a draw like this at the French Open 🙂 . But knowing the ATP i doubt it but fingers crossed!!
    I have to take my hat off for T Haas. He has been playing unbelievable lately, so a match up with Fed could be very intriging match!! I just want Fed to play like we all have known and love about him. I dont mind if Fed gives it his all and loses in a tight match, but the way he played and mentally gave up against Kei was really upsetting to see. 🙁 Anyway new day new place i think Fed will have a point to prove and kick butt!! Come on Roger u show the doubters and the so called Fed fans that want you to retire why you are GOAT!!! 🙂 🙂

    1. Yeah Haas has been unreal lately, he’s a good player just been unlucky with injury and his mentally very weak which is why he never won a slam. He has the talent for sure.

  12. Whilst I’m extremely relieved that Nadal and Djokovic are on the same half- Roger still has a pretty hard draw go get through and since he has little match practice, Rome is sooo slow and he has no confidence really, I actually would not be surprised to see Roger go early as well.

    He has a great great opportunity to make his first final- and at Rome? who would’ve thought hey. I think since there is no Nadal this time, he can play a bit more freely and loose of the shoulders. He’s going to be out for blood here so I expect motivation to be top top no excuses. Making the final should give just what he needs before Roland Garros.

    Say Nadal and Djokovic have a slugfest like they did in Madrid in 2009…Well Roger needs to take advantage there. It would be pretty awesome if he won this with everyone doubting him right after Madrid.

    I assume Murray makes the SF and Jonathan don’t forget 2011 SF with him and Novak, Andy was very close to stopping the Djoker on his streak. Rome I think is his best tournament on clay so far so I expect him to make the semis- I don’t know about Delpo’s health yet, we’ll have to wait and see to make a judgement on him.
    Roger can beat Andy on clay for sure- and yes it’s only clay but a win over Murray I think will get him pumped up a bit, a little inspiration per say.

    Anyway, hopefully Madrid taught Nike not to make kits without polo shirts next time for a masters 1000 and now Roland Garros I see? Allez Roger, you’ve got this!

    1. Also one more thing-

      It actually makes sense that Federer didn’t get Nadal in his draw this time so that when he does in Paris later this month- it will look like there was no draw rigging as in Rome it never happened. It’s all part of a bigger plan guys. But Nadal could get the number 4 ranking back soon before Rome so their plan may backfire who knows.

      And congrats to Stan, back into the top 10 and into Madrid finals, he’s had a great season and has really stepped up. Finally stepping out of Roger’s shadow a little bit there.

      1. I fully agree with your comment, Alysha
        There are many roads leading to Rome as well as many possible ways to rig a draw in tennis.
        The Rome Masters draw is subject to how they want to fix the Roland Garros draw.
        Nadal got now what he explicitly asked for which is getting another chance against Djokovic (before facing him at Roland Garros), but he won’t be in Djokovic’s half at Roland Garros imo as they probably want a Djokovic-Nadal final in Paris.
        Of course I could be wrong, but that’s my feeling anyway.

      2. Interesting thoughts guys. Could well be just to make the French look less obvious.

        Pretty much goes along with all the other rigging stuff we’ve pointed out before so probably likely. All about ze ticket sales.

  13. I don’t think court speed is a factor here. We all know that fast courts suit Roger better but slow courts don’t not suit him, they just aren’t perfectly suited. Yet he’s one of the best clay court players of all time.

    Murray has a losing record in Rome. That’s usually a bad sign and based on current form he will need to up his game.

    I’m glad for Stan but he’s got little chance today, in his interview he said “if I play really really well I have a small chance” he’s going in here with a loser mindset. I can see him going up a break and then choking it away. Although he has a better chance than Berdscat does against his master so hopefully he at least puts up a fight.


  14. Looking forward to Rome – just hoping that fed in his own words really is “raring to go” and “will be difficult to beat” – as the words of the song go – Things can only get better and I am sure they will Allez fed

      1. The only reason they changed it was because the Joker and nadal said they would not go back – Fed coped with it extremely well – he won for gods sake just proves that we need to change the courts and have more variety on the surfaces and the speeds- that would really separate the men from the boys and the Goat, would be in his element – PS had some lovely news today – an off to Wimby for my wedding anniversary – day 1 centre court – wedding Anni and fed how lovely

    1. yeah he had the hardest draw ever didn’t he?….
      Admit it, was lucky against ferrer and had a beautiful paved road to the title….

    2. Congrats for your favorite’s win, a nice win I think.
      Though Rome and Paris are both at sealevel or almost at sealevel, the road is now going uphill for your man.
      We’ll soon find out if he’ll be able to hold those titles as well.

      1. Downhill you mean? 😉 Don’t get worked up by this troll. We all know how Nadal cried like a baby , threatened to boycott Madrid, and got the surface changed to red clay so that he can have fun.

        A true champion doesn’t make those kind of threats. A true champion adjusts to the changing environment, and still wins. A true champion doesn’t ask for homogeneity of surface so it suits only certain players.

    3. Yeah good win, not sure how he managed to beat Stan who was playing insane in that final. His backhand was on fire yet Nadal still won.

      Mugdrid joke tournament this year. Dimitrov spoiled it by beating Djoker.

  15. Andy Murray will be the number 2 seed at the French.
    Try saying that with a straight face. No way will he be making semis here.

    With Federer, I’m backing him to reach his first final of the season. I agree with you that it’s definitely mental nothing physical, and I feel that loss to Nishikori will have just pissed him off … enough to push his form up? We’ll have to wait and see, but it certainly is a good looking draw and he is the GOAT. He’s had bad spells before and come back strong, and with the added incentive of never having won Rome, tis why I’m hopeful! Allez!

    A bonus would be a JesusFed match, I’ve missed that bloke since London! Very long shot I guess though.
    Either way, Federer’s goals for 2013 are the majors, and saving his very best tennis for them. He could lose his first match in Rome and I’d still say he’s a contender, and if he gets put in Murray’s half for that as well then we’ll be laughing!

    1. Hope so. Haas would be a tricky encounter though that’s for sure though.

      I think Final is a big expectation based on current forn. I’m optimistic but a lot of fans seem to be making outright favourite for Rome lol.


  16. “Since we started playing on clay in Europe, I’ve realised that my drive is working again at its high level”

    Wait…did he mean “my drug”? 🙂

  17. I think this is Feds best and ladt chance at the “one that has so far got away”. I yhink he makes the final! Wouldn’t it be cool if Fed made the final easy and Rafa and Djoker battled out so hard that Fed can destroy either in the final! Does 2009 Madrid ring a bell? 😉 Do you see any hope for us(realistically?)

    1. Depends if Federror or Fighterer shows up. I haven’t seen the latter since Australia so here’s hoping he makes an appearance soon. If so anything is possible.

    2. Yeah he has a chance, but everyone is thinking Fed makes the final?? I thought I was been optimistic with my post but fans have taken it to a new level already lol

      I’m not sure on making the final, he has to perform better than Madrid for sure but winning it? Tricky to call.

  18. I dont agree, that we have good draw for Roger in Rome. In this kind of form he is likely to lose against HAAS in third round. Great draw he had in Madrid, where at least he should reach te semis. If HAAS stay in his tennis which he produced in Madrid he is going to beat FED in two sets.

    How could You predict that Verdasco will beat Ferrer ?, whereas in every tournament he enter he had problems to get throug the 1 round. ?? !! Please don`t write things like that !!

    1. Hey Bart,

      Haas will be a test but the main thing is there’s no Nadal in his quarter / half.

      We will see about Fiasco, Ferrer has just choked a big big match against Dull, that could effect him mentally. People forget Fiasco is one of the biggest talents in the sport, just doesn’t know how to use it properly.

      1. Hy,
        I agree thet FV has a big talent and I do really love his game, bu to be true he behave like a model not like a tennis player. That his problem, but his game is very enjoyable 😉

        Best Regards

  19. Hi Jonathan, its been some time since i last wrote on your blog but i think now is high time to propose an idea for an article again. I notice in previous posts of you that you mentioned something about the easy draws nadal usually gets (and the mafia guy Toni is:) for years and i decided to dig into the archive of your friend Ruan and send you the discussion i had with several other fans. A guy named Wilfred made an amazing statistical analizis how often Nadal meets the players he looses from. The conversation is between fans called Stoyan, Wilfred, Ruan and Ilya i think.
    Here is the link to the comments :
    Here is the most important comment by Wilfred:
    “First the facts.

    There are only 9 players outside the top 4 who managed to beat Rafael Nadal in the period from USOpen 2010 uptill today. These players are :
    – Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Bangkok – 2010) ;
    – Jurgen Melzer (Shangai -2010) ;
    – Nicolai Davidenko (Doha -2011) ;
    – David Ferrer ( AO – 2011) ;
    – J.W. Tsonga (Queens -2011) ; Barclay London RR 2011
    – F. Dodig (Montreal – 2011) ;
    – Mardy Fish ( Cincinnati -2011) ;
    – Florian Mayer (Shangai -2011)
    – Gael Monfils (Doha -2012) ;

    We now look at these players next tournaments in détail and examine if they were put in the same quarter of the draw with Rafael Nadal, and continue to do this examination till they both are in the same quarter of a tournament draw.

    1) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
    Tokyo 2010 : not in the same quarter (1)
    Shangai 2010 : not in the same quarter (2)
    Doha 2011 : not in the same quarter (3)
    A0 2011 : not in the same quarter (4)
    Indian Wells 2011 : not in the same quarter (5)
    Miami 2011 : not in the same quarter (6)
    Monte Carlo : yes -→in the same quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(7)
    2) Jurgen Melzer
    AO 2011 : not in the same quarter (1)
    Indian Wells 2011 : not in the same quarter (2)
    Miami 2011 : not in the same quarter (3)
    Monte Carlo 2011 : not in the same quarter (4)
    Barcelona 2011 : not in the same quarter (5)
    Madrid 2011 : yes in the same quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(6)
    3) Nicolai Davydenko
    AO 2011 ; not in the same draw (1)
    Indian Wells 2011 : not in the same quarter (2)
    Miami 2011 : not in the same quarter (3)
    Monte Carlo 2011 : not in the same quarter (4)
    Barcelona 2011 : not in the same quarter (5)
    Madrid 2011 : not in the same quarter (6)
    Rome 2011 : yes in the same quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(7)
    4) David Ferrer :
    Indian Wells : yes in the same quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(1)
    5) J.W. Tsonga
    Wimbledon 2011 : not in the same quarter (1)
    Montreal 2011 : not in the same quarter(2)
    Cincinnati 2011 : not in the same quarter (3)
    US Open 2011 : not in the same quarter (4)
    Shangai 2011 : not in the same quarter (5)
    Doha 2011 : not in the same quarter (6)
    AO 2011 : not in the same quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(7)
    Indian Wells : yes in the same quarter
    6) F. Dodig
    Cincinnati 2011 : not in the same quarter (1)
    US Open 2011 : not in the same quarter (2)
    Tokyo 2011 : not in the same quarter (3)
    Shangai 2011 : not in the same quarter (4)
    AO 2011 : not in the same quarter (5)
    Indian Wells 2011 : not in the same quarter (6)
    Miami 2011 : yes in the same quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!(7)
    7) Mardy Fish
    US Open 2011 : not in the same quarter (1)
    Tokyo 2011 : not in the same quarter (2)
    Shangai 2011 : not in the same quarter (3)
    (BARCLAYS 2011 : !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yes )
    AO 2011 : not in the same quarter (4)
    Indian Wells 2011 : not in the same quarter (5)
    Miami 2011 : not in the same quarter(6)
    8) Florian Mayer
    Indian Wells 2011 : not in the same quarter (1)
    Miami 2011 : yes in the same quarter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(2)
    9) Gael Monfils
    AO 2011 : not in the same quarter (1)
    Miami 2011 : nt in the same quarter (2)

    The data above mentioned show us that Nadal drew the same quarter as the players from whome he lost only:
    – In the 7th commun tournament : G. Garcia Lopez, N. Davydenko , J.W. Tsonga , F. Dodig ;
    – in the 2d commun tournament : F. Mayer ;
    – in the 1st commun tournament : D. Ferrer ;
    – not yet : G. Monfis , M. Fish.

    We now move on to the critical interpretation of these data.
    Nadal has a 25% theoretical probabiltiy of drawing the same quarter as the players to whome he lost, which implies that out of every 4 tournaments he should draw once the same quarter as his opponents. But that’s only a theoretical truth, because this probablility counts only for an infinite number of draws, whereas we have only a limited amount of draws in examination.

    Therefore in my opinion we can better take a look at how many times Nadal has been drawn in the same quarter of a draw before he lost to them, and compare this pattern with the pattern after his loss.

    Let’ s first look in this regard at the tournament draws of J.-W. Tsonga. Well, in the 6 tournaments that R. Nadal and J.-W. Tsonga both participated the same tournament preceding J.W.Tsonga’s victory over Nadal in Queens 2011, Tsonga was drawn 3 out of 6 times in the same quarter as Nadal :
    – Indian Wells 2011 : in the same quarter and Tsonga loses in the 3d round from X.Malisse ;
    – Miami 2011 : in the same quarter and Tsonga loses in the 4the round from Dolgopolov ;
    – Monte Carlo 2011 : in the same quarter and Tsonga loses in the 3d round from Ljubicic ;
    – Madrid 2011 : not in the same quarter
    – Rome 2011 : not in the same quarter
    – Roland Garros 2011 : not in the same quarter

    The situation before and after the loss is therefore striking and contrasting : 3 out of 6 times before Nadal loses from Tsonga were they drawn in the same quarter of the draw, which means with the loss itself included, 4 out of 7 tournaments. But after this loss, it takes 7 normal tournaments before they are in the same draw again (if one doen’t consider the Barclays tournament at the end of 2011)!

    Let’ s now look at the hot Mardy Fish in 2011 and his tournament draws. In the last 5 tournaments that they both participated in preceding M. Fish’s victory over R. Nadal at Cincinnati in 2011, they were drawn 3 out of 5 times in the same quarter of the draw :

    – Madrid 2011 : not in the same quarter ;
    – Rome 2011 : in the same quarter and M.Fish loses in the 4the round from M.Cilic;
    – Roland Garros 2011 : in the same quarter and Fish loses in the 4d round from G. Simon;
    – Wimbledon 2011 : in the same quarter and M. Fish loses from R. Nadal in the QF ;
    – Montreal 2011 : not in the same quarter

    The situation before and after this victory is again very striking and contrasting : 3 out of 5 times before Nadal loses from M.Fish in Cincinnati were they drawn in the same quarter of the draw, which means with the tournament of the loss included 4 out of 6 tournaments. But after this loss, 0 out of 6 tournaments were they drawn in the same quarter of the draw of a tournament where they both participated. If we exclude the Barclays tournament, they still have not been drawn in the same quarter of a draw sinds Nadal lost to Fish !!!!!

    Let’s also take a look at the draws of D. Ferrer.
    After his AO-victory over Nadal in the QF, he was immediately drawn again in the same quarter of R. Nadal in their next commun tournament : Indian Wells 2011. D. Ferrer lost however in the second round from Karlovic and didn’t meet Nadal. Since Indian Wells 2011 R. Nadal and D.Ferrer were only once out of 13 tournaments drawn in the same quarter of the draw of a tournament that they both participated in (US.Open 2011, where D. Ferrer lost from A. Roddick in the 4the round).

    Finally some thoughts on Roger Feder’s draws and the draws of the opponents from whome he lost.
    I give you two examples to show you that he is not as priviliged (or Lucky ?) as R.Nadal.

    First example : J.W. Tsonga.
    Federer lost from Tsonga in Wimbledon in the QF. In Montreal 2011, Federer is in the same quarter of the draw as Tsonga, and loses again from him.

    Second example : R. Gasquet.
    Federer lost from R.Gasquet in Rome 2011. Federer weren’t drawn in the same quarter of Madrid, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. But in Montreal, there 4th commun tournament after Rome, both were again in the same quarter of the draw, where Federer lost from Tsonga in the 3d round and Gasquet from Almagro in the same round) .

    My overall conclusion is this one : it looks indeed very much like “ R. Nadal does not have to face “ the players from whome he loses immediately afterwards in subsequent tournaments, whereas other players don’t seem to enjoy the same kind of privilege.”

    There is also comment station that the draws become easier since Nadal was elected as vice-prsident for some tennis governing organisation (remember he resigned after a conflict with Federer about the 2-year ranking)…

    Here is an excerpt from an interview with Tsonga after loosing to Nadal last year, showing the power Rafa has over umpires:

    ““I have to be, you know, really focused, you know, on the ball, because if the ball is out, it would never if it’s really close, he would never say out against Rafa. Always to say against me. If Rafa don’t like him anymore, I mean, he would not be in the chair many times on final and semifinal.” (article found at
    Have a great day and if you have time comment on those statements:)

    1. A bit surprised and embarrassed about it too, though not about the core of what I once wrote on Ruan’s federerblog.
      Most people think there is no need to protect Rafael Nadal, as to all seeming he is crushing his opponents with ease.
      The truth is probably a bit more complicated.
      I suggest you read Steve-o’s recent comment (who is a lot more articulate in English than me and doesn’t write syntax errors etc…) as cited below.
      Steve-o says ( May 12th, 2013 at 12:27 pm):
      “ @alison, I think you are one of the more reasonable Nadal fans; at least on occasion you’ve conceded that sometimes he behaves in an unsportsmanlike fashion.
      The image of Nadal as Peter Pan, a humble, adorable, innocent naïf, is not compatible with the Nadal who has been fined for on-court coaching, who shoulder-checked Rosol, or demanded that the tour be changed to make it easier for him to be #1 (more clay, two-year ranking system, shorter season).
      You can be a fan while conceding his unsportsmanlike behavior; but you cannot credibly claim he is the goofy, well-mannered little child his more rabid fans believe him to be.
      As for why Nadal skipped seven months, he had a great reason: it took him a long time to come to terms with getting knocked out by Rosol.
      His confidence was shattered by losing to someone he didn’t believe he could lose to. He was so shaken that had he played during those seven months he would have lost to many journeymen. And that has to be avoided at all costs, in order to preserve his “warrior” reputation.
      People think Nadal is mentally strong and physically weak, when the reality is that he’s the exact opposite. His body has never been seriously injured, no more than any other player (and much less than many). He has limitless reserves of endurance and strength.
      His vaunted “warrior mentality” is almost entirely a function of his physical attributes. If he can’t physically overwhelm his opponent, he looks very fragile mentally. And when he loses to someone he doesn’t expect to in a Grand Slam, it affects him very adversely and he needs a long, long time to get over it.
      So he plays hooky while he nurses his wounds and blames it on “injury” to get all the sympathy from fans like yourself who are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
      The alternative is to believe he has repeated dire injuries and makes repeated miraculous recoveries to top form when no other athlete has ever been able to do it.”

      As for making “rigging of draws” a separate topic of a blog, I dont think it is a good idea.
      Because we’re not in the position to collect any material proof of manipulation, and only very few people I think are perhaps interested in indirect statistical proof (as it involves applying and explaing the statistical methods used in a post, which is not what the majority of us wants to read on a tennis blog).

  20. …awesome comments…thanx for sharing those with us:) At least for many draws are kindda fixed for one player..:) I still remember the draw of Federer on this year AO….suspicious…at least.

  21. Ok, everybody just calm down. Yes, it was a demolition but let’s not get carried away 🙂

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