The tour hits the eternal city.
Rome has a rather difficult position on the tennis calendar, with only one week between the start of the French Open and the Rome final. It also, comes on the back of the Madrid Masters, and the Rome Madrid double Therefore has seen plenty surprise finalists in the past years and unfortunately fair share of retirees and absences. Winners since 2005 have always been either Nadal or Djokovic, while Murray won his maiden Rome title last year.
Nadal has been unbeaten on Clay this season so far. His absolute ultimate goal will be to win La Decima at Roland Garros. He showed bits of weakness in Madrid, when he struggled against Fognini. He is a very short favourite at below evens and I happily take him on, as he comes from a tough Madrid tournament draw to find himself again in the tougher bottom half, which includes second favourite Djokovic and Madrid finalist Thiem.
Top half of the draw looks wide open with Andy Murray being out of sorts. However, he does has to defend his title in Rome, which means a likelier more motivated Murray than what we saw in Madrid. His first round opponent Fognini is however a difficult hurdle.
Dry and hot week expected in Rome which will mean slightly faster court play. My two favourites in the top draw are David Goffin and Fabio Fognini. One key doubt on Fognini is his pergnant wife who can give birth during the tournament which will likely see Fognini retire…. Therefore, my advice to stick to Fognini on a per match basis, starting with his first round against Murray.
Goffin, produced consecutive quarter finals in Rome. He is in the top half, and won’t face Nadal before the final. Goffin lost 3 times on clay this year, twice against Nadal and once to Kachanov. Goffin, seems to have taken the next step this year and gears his schedule to limit play to perform at top level at the Masters and Grand Slams. Key to remain in that top 10.
David Goffin – €10 Each Way 34.00 @ Bet365.