Scouting Report: Federer Gears Up For Rome – ATP World Tour
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Novak, Rafa Lead Strong Field: The Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the fifth ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season, is headlined by every member of the Top 10 Emirates ATP Rankings (and 17 of the Top 20 overall). The past 11 titles in Rome have been won by reigning two-time champion (four overall) Novak Djokovic and seven-time winner Rafael Nadal. The last player to win the Rome crown other than Djokovic or Nadal was Carlos Moya in 2004. In the 11 previous years from 1994-2004, there were 10 different winners with Thomas Muster the only multiple champ in 1995-96. Nadal has a 47-4 record in Rome while Djokovic owns a 34-5 record.
Big Title Kings: For the first time ever the trio of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are seeded together in the same half of the draw in Rome. The trio have combined to win 133 Big Titles in their career, which consists of Grand Slam, ATP Masters 1000 and Barclays ATP World Tour Finals level tournaments. Over the past five-plus years (since 2011),the trio have combined to win 83 per cent (40 of 48) of ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. Federer leads the way with 47 Big Titles: 24 ATP Masters 1000, 17 Grand Slam and six Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crowns. Djokovic follows with 44 Big Titles, 28 coming in ATP Masters 1000 level, 11 Grand Slam and five Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Nadal has 42 Big Titles on his resume with 28 coming at ATP Masters 1000 level and 14 Grand Slam.
Big Four Title Holders: Going into Madrid, in 51 of the past 55 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (since 2010 Monte-Carlo),one of the Big Four: Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal have lifted the trophy. During that stretch, Djokovic has won 23 titles, Nadal 13, Federer, eight and Murray, seven. Since 2013, one of the Big Four has reached the past 30 ATP Masters 1000 finals.
Novak Rolling Along: World No. 1 and reigning two-time champion Novak Djokovic returns to Rome for the 10th straight year (34-5 record). He is looking for his fifth title in Rome. Djokovic won last year’s title over No. 2 Federer and two years ago beat No. 1 Nadal in three sets. He also won titles in 2008 (d. Wawrinka) and 2011 (d. Nadal). His most recent loss in Rome came in 2013, when he lost to Berdych in the quarte-finals. He has never lost before the quarter-finals in his nine previous appearances. As of May 9, Djokovic is two weeks away from reaching 200 weeks at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Djokovic will reach the 200 week milestone on May 23. He will become the fifth player in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings to hold No. 1 at least 200 weeks in his career. He owns an ATP World Tour-best five titles, including the Australian Open and ATP Masters 1000 titles at Indian Wells, Miami and Madrid.
Rafa in Rome: The most successful player in tournament history is seven-time champion Rafael Nadal, who owns a 47-4 career record. He has reached the final in six of the past seven years and nine overall in 11 visits. Last year his streak of six straight finals ended when he fell to Wawrinka in the quarter-finals. He won titles in 2005-07, ’09-10, ’12-13 and was runner-up in 2011 and ‘14. The only other time he didn’t reach the final was in 2008 (l. to Ferrero in 2R). Nadal is trying to win a fourth different tournament at least eight times. He’s won Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Roland Garros nine times.
Rafa on Clay: Nadal, who has won at least two European ATP World Tour clay court titles coming into Roland Garros in 10 of the past 12 years (2005-13, ‘16),is putting together a solid season on clay. The 29-year-old Spaniard is 13-1 on European clay courts this season. If he wins Rome, it will be the ninth time in his career he’s won three European clay court titles leading into Roland Garros.
Murray Clay Improvement: Going into the Madrid final, Andy Murray has won 24 of 26 matches on clay (.923) during 2015-16, including a career-best 17-1 record last season with two titles. Prior to last year Murray, had never reached a clay court final. Murray has an 88-39 career record (.693) on clay.
Roger Eyes First Title, Milestone: Roger Federer is attempting to capture his first title in Rome in 16 appearances (31-15 record). His first career ATP World Tour title came in Italy in 2001 Milan. He’s a four-time finalist in Rome: 2003 (l. to Mantilla),’06 and ’13 (l. to Nadal both times) and last year (l. to Djokovic). This is only Federer’s fourth tournament t of the season. He withdrew from Madrid last week due to a back injury after a knee injury sidelined him after the Australian Open. Federer is two match wins away from tying Ivan Lendl on the Open Era career match wins list. Federer has 1,069 wins and Lendl 1,071. Jimmy Connors is the all-time leader with 1,256 wins.
Milos on the Move: The youngest player in the Top 10 Emirates ATP Rankings is 25-year-old Milos Raonic, who returned to the Top 10 on May 2 for the first time since Oct. 26, 2015. Raonic is the only player on the ATP World Tour this season to reach the quarter-finals or better at the first four ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. He comes into Rome with a 23-5 match record on season. Two years ago, he advanced to the semi-finals in Rome, losing to Djokovic in three sets.
Next Generation Update: There are three Next Gen players in the main draw, led by Nick Kyrgios, who is coming off a quarter-final in Madrid (l. to Nishikori). The 21-year-old Aussie is making his second straight appearance in Rome while teenagers Borna Coric and Alexander Zverev are appearing in the main draw for the first time.
Outstanding Doubles Field: For the second week in a row, the doubles draw features nine of the Top 10 teams in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings:
Former Doubles Champions: There are nine former doubles champions in the field:
Pablo Cuevas (2015)
Daniel Nestor (1997, 2006, 2009, 2014)
Nenad Zimonjic (2007, 2009, 2014)
Marcel Granollers (2012)
Marc Lopez (2012)
Sam Querrey (2011)
Max Mirnyi (2004)
In Case You Missed It
9 May – Gilles Muller (33)
15 May – Leonard Mayer (29)
+16 Filip Krajinovic (98)
+15 Denis Istomin (64)
+11 Daniel Evans (86)
+11 Dudi Sela (63)
+9 Santiago Giraldo (96)
+6 Kyle Edmund (82)
Julien Benneteau – 245 wins
Jeremy Chardy – 199 wins
Joao Sousa – 97 wins
Aljaz Bedene – 45 wins
Andreas Seppi – 98 wins
Jeremy Chardy – 97 wins
Scouting Report: Federer Gears Up For Rome – ATP World Tour