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  • Chris Sobey


After a full day missed due to rain at the Rome Masters 1000 Series on Wednesday most of the remaining players had to play two games in one day yesterday to catch up. The tournaments star attractions the big three and other seeds were the ones who coped with the situation the best and there’s still a couple of talented experienced unseeded players who also reached the quarter finals.

Top seed Djokovic and defending champion Nadal were particularly ruthless yesterday winning both there matches in straight sets for the loss of only eight games between them and they look destined to meet in Sunday’s final if they keep playing in the shame fashion.

Djokovic faces seventh seed Del Potro who surprised me and many pundits winning two matches in one day yesterday after only playing four competitive matches all season and losing in the firs round at the Madrid Masters 1000 Series last week. This will be their twentieth meeting on the ATP Tour, and Djokovic leads the head-to-head 15-4, he won both their matches on clay in straight sets and should progress to the semi-finals if he brings his A game.

The other quarter final from the top half of the draw is between sixth seed Nishikori and the talented Argentinian Schwartzman who is unseeded this week. This will be there fourth meeting on the ATP Tour, Nishikori won all three encounters in 2017 and 2018, including two on clay at Barcelona and the Madrid Masters 1000 Series, and all three matches were close including the two three set games on clay that both went to three sets.

Nadal faces veteran Verdasco who is the other unseeded player left in the draw and Nadal leads the head-to-head 19-3, he also won seven of their eight meetings on clay and Nadal won six in straight sets and if he plays like he did yesterday he will record his twentieth win against his compatriot today. Finally, the other quarter final is between the old guard and new as Fedrerer continues to show no signs of slowing down at the age of 37 when he grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat coming from a set down to beat thirteenth seed Coric on a third set tie break.

Federer faces another NextGen star today eight seed Tsitsipas and this is there third meeting in 2019 and in total. Tsitsipas won their first meeting this year which was a gruelling four set encounter that’s had three tie breaks at the Australian Open, Federer gained revenge beating Tsitsipas at Dubai in straight sets but he won’t have it as easy today against the hottest young property in tennis at present who has continued his good 2018 form in 2019. If Tsitsipas can hang tough again, match Federer’s’ attacking prowess and hold his nerve on the big points and pressure moments I think the young Greek will edge this one.



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