The semifinal matches are set for the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome this week. The top three in the world rankings are still playing, but fans hoping to see all of the top four players in the world were disappointed earlier in the week when Andy Murray lost his first match to David Nalbandian. Here are some thoughts on the final four in Rome.
Rafael Nadal, Spain - Nadal has had his usual success on clay this year, notching wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Nadal has only one loss on clay this year, last week's loss in Madrid to countryman Fernando Verdasco. Nadal has reached the semis in Rome by beating Florian Meyer, Marcel Granollers, and today, Tomas Berdych, all in straight sets. Nadal will play David Ferrer in the semifinals, against whom he is 14-4 in his career.
David Ferrer, Spain - Ferrer reached the semis by beating Fernando Verdasco, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet. Like his Davis Cup teammate, Nadal, all of Ferrer's wins this week have come in straight sets. Ferrer faces a tough match in the semis, where Rafael Nadal is waiting. The two most recently played in the final in Barcelona, with Nadal winning the tightly contested match by a score of 7-6, 7-5.
Novak Djokovic, Serbia - The world #1 survived a tough first-set challenge from Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their quarterfinal match today before winning 7-5, 6-1. Before playing Tsonga, Djokovic had dispatched Bernard Tomic and Juan Monaco, though the match against Monaco proved a tough test for the Serb. Monaco won the first set before Djokovic prevailed. Djokovic has two titles this year, but has not won on clay yet, having lost in the final in Monte Carol and the quarters in Madrid. Djokovic will now play Roger Federer in the semis.
Roger Federer, Switzerland - Federer is playing well in his first tournament after having reclaimed the #2 spot from Nadal. Federer beat Carlos Berlocq and Juan Carlos Ferrero in his first two matches, with Ferrero making a match of things by forcing a third set. He then made quick work of Andreas Seppi in the quarters. The semifinal match between Federer and Djokovic should be compelling tennis. Federer is playing excellent tennis. His four titles in 2012 include Masters 1000 wins in Indian Wells and Madrid. Federer has beaten Djokovic 14 of the 24 times they have played, but many of those matches came before Djokovic ascended to the #1 ranking.
Player and tournament information found at http://www.atpworldtour.com/.
Brad Boeker has been a fan of professional tennis for over 30 years. He coaches high school tennis in Illinois.
- Sports & Recreation
- Rafael Nadal
- Novak Djokovic
- David Ferrer
- Roger Federer
- Fernando Verdasco
- David Nalbandian