And here we are! In the fabulous historic city of Rome; this also happens to be Roger Federer’s favorite city as well. As you can see I didn’t do a concluding Madrid post. That match took a lot out of me; I processed it for a whole day and by the time 24 hours passed by, enough articles and blog posts were written about it that ranged from disappointment, to rage to insults directed at the Maestro. I didn’t feel like entering the fray and thought, why not skip it, so I did. We all know what happened in that match; no sense in rehashing it now. Like Roger, I too want to put it behind me and look forward. As such, no analysis or strategies are included here. I am putting my faith in the Swiss and his formidable team and that is all I have to say on the matter at this point.
And actually, we don’t have to wait long at all to find out what Roger’s been up to. In a few hours, Roger will face Italian wild card entry Starace at 7:30pm Rome time. Starace is ranked 293 in the world and has a 0-6 H2H with Roger, having won only one set back in 2004. Hopefully Roger can come through without much fuss. After that he has a tough draw with Haas/Simon for Round 3, Tsonga/Gasquet/Dimitrov/Janowicz for QFs. For the SFs, he could face Delpo/Murray/Nishikori/Almagro with the final opponent as either Nadal or Djokovic.
The draw might get you down but the benefit of losing early in Madrid meant more time to practice and get used to the conditions, which are quite different from Madrid. In fact Roger has traditionally struggled here and never even won the title. But he’s been practicing hard and often while simultaneously making hundreds of fans who’ve come to watch him feel hot and bothered, in a good way ;). Judging by the photos on social media he had practice sessions with Anderson, Cilic, Youzhny and Troicki already. So compared to other years, he’s had a different preparation for Rome. That coupled with the unexpected early Madrid loss increasing his motivation even further, who knows what might happen this time around. Either way, I’m excited to see FedEx back on court and playing a match! And in the meantime, if those naysayers continue to bother you, just send them this Roger picture – no words needed 🙂