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Roger Federer, Andy Murray & Rafael Nadal Take On 2015 Rome Masters Open

Roger Federer, Andy Murray & Rafael Nadal Take On 2015 Rome Masters Open

roger federer andy murray and rafael nadal kick off wednesday 2015 rome masters open

Novak Djokovic made his grand entrance and win at the 2015 Rome Masters Open on Tuesday, and the rest of the Big Four hit the clay today. Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal will be crowd pleasers as they take on Pablo Cuevas, Jeemy Chardy and Marsel Ilhan. Federer had a rather quick exit at the 2015 Madrid Open so he’s sure to make his stay last longer this time around, and Nadal made it to the finals with Murray, but fell short at the end dropping his tennis ranking from 4 to 7. Nadal is striving to get his eighth Rome Open title with this round.

Murray’s been on quite the roll similar to Djokovic so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the two of them wind up hitting it out in the finals.

rafael nadal 2015 rome masters open vs marsel ilhan

NADAL EYEING EIGHTH TITLE: This is Nadal’s 11th straight appearance in Rome. He has reached the final here nine times in 10 visits, winning the title a record seven times (2005-07, ‘09-10, ‘12-13). The only time he didn’t reach the final was in 2008 (l. to Ferrero in 2R). With a 15-4 record on clay this season, this is the first time he has lost more than three matches on the surface in a single season since his rookie campaign in 2003.

roger federer 2015 rome masters open vs pablo cuevas

•    FEDERER CHASING ELUSIVE CROWN: Rome is one of two ATP Masters 1000 titles still missing from Federer’s collection (along with Monte-Carlo). The Swiss is set to make his 15th appearance in the Italian capital (27-14) – at no other tournament has he appeared more without winning the title. He has reached the final here three times: 2003 (l. to Mantilla), 2006 (l. to Nadal) and 2013 (l. to Nadal), and last year he fell to Jeremy Chardy in his opening match.

andy murray 2015 rome masters open vs jeremy chardy

•    MURRAY ON A ROLL: Murray is off to a career-best 9-0 start on clay, capturing his first ATP World Tour clay title in Munich (d. Kohlschreiber) and his 10th ATP Masters 1000 title in Madrid at the weekend (d. Nadal). In fact, 13% of his career wins on clay have come in the last two weeks. The Brit is making his 10th straight appearance in Rome (8-9 record) with his best results a SF in 2011 (l. to Djokovic in 3rd set TB) and a QF last year (l. to Nadal in 3 sets).

•    LANDMARK WATCH: The top ranked Italian Fabio Fognini will bid for his 200th career win when he takes on Grigor Dimitrov today (199-199). The Italian’s first ever tour-level win came over Juan-Pablo Guzman in Amersfoort in 2006. This will be the third time Fognini and Dimitrov have met in the past month with Dimitrov winning both their contests in Monte-Carlo and Madrid.

DAY 4 FEDEX ATP HEAD2HEADS

CENTRALE

[3] Andy Murray (GBR) vs Jeremy Chardy (FRA)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: Murray leads 5-1
2009     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada    Hard    R32    Andy Murray    6-4 6-2
2010     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati    Hard    R32    Andy Murray    6-3 6-7(3) 6-2
2010     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai    Hard    R16    Andy Murray    6-3 6-4
2011     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris    Hard    R32    Andy Murray    6-2 6-4
2012     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati    Hard    R16    Jeremy Chardy    6-4 6-4
2013     Australian Open (Australia)        Hard    QF    Andy Murray    6-4 6-1 6-2

•    Murray is contesting the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for the 10th time. His best showing here was a SF appearance in 2011 (l. to Djokovic in a 3rd set TB). Last season, he fell to Nadal in the QF.
•    Murray arrives in Rome with a 9-0 record on clay this season, having won the titles in Munich (d. Kohlschreiber) and Madrid (d. No. 6 Raonic, No. 5 Nishikori, No. 4 Nadal). They were his first ever tournament wins on clay.
•    Murray’s victory in Madrid was his 10th at ATP Masters 1000 level and his first in more than two years. It also marked his 33rd title overall, which saw him break into the Top 20 Open Era title leaders, joining Arthur Ashe andMats Wilander in 19th place.
•    In March, Murray advanced to the SF at Indian Wells and the final in Miami, losing to Djokovic each time. With his 4R win over Anderson in Miami, Murray became the first British player to hit 500 wins. He defeated 185 different opponents from 50 different countries en route to the milestone.
•    Murray opened his season by reaching the Australian Open final for the fourth time (l. to Djokovic).
•    Murray has reached at least the QF in 16 of his last 17 tournaments (94%), which is the highest percentage on tour over the last 10 months.
•    In 2014, Murray finished in the Top 6 for the seventh year in a row, winning three titles.
•    Chardy got his tournament under way with a 7-6(0), 6-4 defeat of Lukas Rosol, saving the lone BP he faced while converting on just one of his own 12 BP chances.
•    Chardy is returning to Rome for the fifth time. After falling in the 1R on his debut in 2009 (l. to Gonzalez), he reached the 2R in 2010 (l. to Djokovic), the 3R in 2013 (l. to Granollers) and the QF in 2014 (d. No. 4 Federer in 2R; l. to Raonic).
•    Chardy came into the tournament on a three-match losing streak having lost to Federer in the 2R in Monte-Carlo before back-to-back 1R exits in Estoril (l. to Coric) and Madrid (l. to Bellucci).
•    Chardy’s best results of the season were QF outings in Houston (l. to Anderson in a 3rd set TB) and Marseille (l. to Simon).
•    Chardy has an 8-35 record vs. Top 10 opponents with his most recent win coming against Federer at this tournament last year.
•    In 2014, Chardy finished in the Top 30 for the first time, reaching the QF or better seven times.

[Q] Marsel Ilhan (TUR) vs [4] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

•    Ilhan, who is making his Rome debut, overcame Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-1 in his opening match.
•    Ilhan’s best showing of the season came in Dubai, where he qualified before reaching the QF (l. to Djokovic).
•    Ilhan finished 2014 outside the Top 100 but has since found his way back inside, reaching a career-high World No. 77 on March 2.
•    Ilhan has never beaten a Top 10 opponent (0-3).
•    Nadal has reached the Rome final in nine of his ten appearances, winning seven titles: 2005 (d. Coria), 2006 (d. Federer), 2007 (d. Gonzalez), 2009 (d. Djokovic), 2010 (d. Ferrer), 2012 (d. Djokovic) and 2013 (d. Federer). He has lost just three matches here.
•    Nadal suffered his first defeat to Murray on clay in the Madrid final on Sunday. It was his fourth clay court defeat of the season. The last time he lost at least four matches on the surface in a single season was in his rookie campaign in 2003.
•    Nadal dropped to No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, putting him outside the Top 5 for the first time in a decade (No. 7 – May 2, 2005). That week the Top 10 were: 1) Federer, 2) Hewitt, 3) Roddick, 4) Safin, 5) Gaudio, 6) Henman, 7) Nadal, 8) Moya, 9) Agassi, 10) Nalbandian.
•    Nadal has a 15-4 record on clay this season with his four losses coming against Djokovic (Monte-Carlo SF), Fognini twice (Rio de Janeiro SF and Barcelona 3R) and Murray.
•    In February, Nadal won the 46th clay court title of his career in Buenos Aires (d. Monaco), and is now just three short of Guillermo Vilas’ record clay court title haul of 49. His victory in Argentina ended a nine-month trophy drought dating back to Roland Garros 2014 (d. Djokovic).
•    In March, Nadal fell in the QF at Indian Wells (l. to Raonic after holding three MPs) and the 3R in Miami (l. to Verdasco).
•    Nadal lost his opening match of the season, 1R in Doha (l. to Michael Berrer), before reaching the QF of the Australian Open (l. to Berdych).
•    In 2014, Nadal finished in the Top 3 for the ninth time in the past 10 years (except 2012), capturing four titles in seven finals. The Spaniard extended his streak of winning at least one Grand Slam title per year to a record 10th year in a row with his ninth victory at Roland Garros. His 14 Slam titles are tied second all-time with Pete Sampras, behind Roger Federer(17).

Pablo Cuevas (URU) vs [2] Roger Federer (SUI)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: Federer leads 1-0
2015     Istanbul (Turkey)            Clay    F    Roger Federer    6-3 7-6(11)

•    Cuevas had an 0-3 record at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia before securing his first win in the opening round, defeating Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-2 in 78 minutes.
•    Cuevas followed up his runner-up showing in Istanbul (d. Dimitrov in SF; l. to Federer) with a 1R loss to Albert Ramos-Viñolas in Madrid last week.
•    Cuevas impressed during the Golden Swing in February, clinching a third ATP World Tour title in São Paulo (d. Vanni in a 3rd set TB) and reaching the QFs in Rio de Janeiro (l. to Nadal in 3 sets in the second-latest finish on the ATP World Tour – 3:18am) and Buenos Aires (l. to Monaco).
•    Cuevas rose to a career-high World No. 21 on March 23. He is the highest ranked Uruguayan in Emirates ATP Rankings history.
•    Cuevas has a 1-4 record vs. Top 10 opponents with his lone winning coming over No. 8 Andy Roddick in Miami in 2011.
•    In 2014, Cuevas returned from a right knee injury to finish at a year-end high No. 30, climbing 191 places during season. He won his first two ATP World Tour titles within a 3-week span in July, capturing trophies in Båstad (d. Sousa) and Umag (d. Robredo). He was the first Uruguayan winner on tour since Marcelo Filippini in St. Poelten in May 1997.
•    Federer returns to Rome for the 15th time. He is still chasing a first title here, falling in the final three times: 2003 (l. to Felix Mantilla), 2006 (l. to Nadal) and 2013 (l. to Nadal).
•    Last year, Federer stumbled in his opening match at the Foro Italico, losing to Jeremy Chardy.
•    Federer suffered an early exit in Madrid, falling to Nick Kyrgios in his opening match. It was the Swiss’ first loss to a player aged 20 or younger since defeat to Del Potro in the 2009 US Open final.
•    After a 3R loss to Gael Monfils in Monte-Carlo, Federer bounced back by capturing an 85th career title in Istanbul earlier this month (d. Cuevas). Turkey became the 19th different country in which he has won an ATP World Tour title.
•    Only two players in ATP history have won more titles than Federer (85):Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94).
•    En route to his title in Istanbul, Federer clinched his 200th match win on clay, becoming the seventh active player to do so.
•    In January, Federer recorded his 1000th ATP match win in the Brisbane final (d. Raonic) before a shock 3R exit at the Australian Open (l. to Seppi).
•    In February, Federer claimed his second title of the season in Dubai (d. Djokovic).
•    In March, Federer advanced to the final of Indian Wells (l. to Djokovic).
•    In 2014, Federer finished in the Top 2 for the 10th time, winning five titles including two ATP Masters 1000 crowns. Aged 33, he was the oldest player to finish in the Top 2 of the Emirates ATP Rankings (since 1973), and was the first to finish in the Top 10 for 13 years in a row (2003-2015) since Lendl (1980-1992). He also won a first Davis Cup title for Switzerland.

GRANDSTAND

Jiri Vesely (CZE) vs [5] Kei Nishikori (JPN)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

•    Vesely opened his maiden Rome campaign with a 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3 upset of Ernests Gulbis.
•    Vesely has reached the SF-or-better at three tournaments this year. He clinched his first ATP World Tour title as a qualifier in Auckland in January (d. Mannarino in F) and is now one of seven players born in the 1990s to win a tour-level title: Raonic (6), Dimitrov (4), Goffin (2), Tomic (2), Delbonis (1) and Sock (1). He also finished runner-up in Bucharest (l. to Garcia-Lopez) and reached the SF in Casablanca (l. to Gimeno-Traver).
•    Vesely has fallen in the opening round at nine of the 13 tournaments he has contested in 2015.
•    On April 27, Vesely climbed to a career-high No. 35 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
•    In 2014, Vesely finished in the Top 100 for the second year in a row at a year-end high No. 66, winning a personal best 16 matches.
•    Nishikori is set to make just his second main draw appearance in Rome. He fell to Jeremy Chardy in the 2R in his only previous visit here in 2013.
•    Nishikori’s eight-match winning streak on clay came to an end at the hands of Andy Murray in last week’s Madrid SF.
•    Nishikori successfully defended his title in Barcelona earlier this month (d. Andujar). It was his ninth career crown and his second of 2015, having won in Memphis in February (d. Anderson).
•    Nishikori rose to a career-high No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on March 2. He is the highest-ranked Asian player in ATP history. He has since dropped back down to No. 6.
•    Nishikori is bidding to become the fifth player this season to hit 30 match wins today, joining Djokovic, Berdych, Murray and Ferrer.
•    In 2014, Nishikori ended the season at a year-end best No. 5 after registering a career-high 54 wins. His year was highlighted by four titles and maiden final appearances at Grand Slam and ATP Masters 1000 level (US Open and Madrid).

Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs [12] Gilles Simon (FRA)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: Simon leads 2-1
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells Hard    R64    Dominic Thiem    7-6(5) 6-2
2014     Nice (France)                Clay    R16    Gilles Simon    6-3 4-6 6-2
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada    Hard    R64    Gilles Simon    3-6 6-4 6-0

•    Thiem is appearing at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for the first time. He came through his opening round in straight sets, defeating Italy’s Simone Bolelli 7-6(4), 7-6(5).
•    Thiem’s best showing this season came in Miami where he reached an ATP Masters 1000 QF for the first time (l. to Murray). He also reached the QF in Marseille in February (l. to Bautista Agut) and in Munich two weeks ago (l. to G Melzer).
•    In 2014, Thiem ended a season as the No. 1 Austrian for the first time. He was the youngest player to finish the year in the Top 50 after compiling a breakthrough season, which saw him reach a maiden ATP World Tour final and qualify into a tour-high seven main draws in eight attempts.
•    Simon took two hours and 21 minutes to battle past Jack Sock 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in the 1R.
•    Simon is back in the Rome main draw for the eighth time. He has reached the 3R here four times but has never gone beyond that stage.
•    Simon is bidding for his 350th career win today (349-241).
•    Simon’s last competitive outing came three weeks ago in Bucharest (l. to Gimeno-Traver in QF).
•    Simon captured a 12th ATP World Tour title in Marseille in February (d. Monfils in a 3rd set TB). The victory put him into second place, behindYannick Noah (23), on the all-time French title leaders list before Gasquet joined him on 12. He also reached the SF in Rotterdam (l. to Berdych), as well as a QF in Montpellier (l. to Janowicz) and Bucharest (l. to Gimeno-Traver).
•    In 2014, Simon finished in the Top 25 for the sixth time in seven years after reaching a second career ATP Masters 1000 final in Shanghai in October. The Frenchman came in ranked No. 29 and defeated No. 4 Wawrinka and No. 7 Berdych en route to the final (l. to Federer in 2 TB sets).

[11] Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs Viktor Troicki (SRB)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

•    Lopez fended off rising star Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 7-6(4) in the opening round, posting his 100th career win on clay.
•    Lopez is making his 12th appearance in Rome. He reached the QF here once, in 2010 (l. to Gulbis). He has fallen in his opening match here eight times, including the last three years in a row.
•    In February, Lopez advanced to a 12th career final in Quito (l. to Estrella Burgos in 3rd set TB).
•    Lopez’s other stand out result came at Indian Wells, where he reached the QF at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the 12th time in his career (d. No. 5 Nishikori in 4R; l. to Murray).
•    On March 2, the 33-year-old Spaniard rose to a career-high No. 12 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
•    Lopez has failed to record back-to-back wins at his last five events.
•    In 2014, Lopez finished in the Top 15 for the first time at a year-end high No. 14, winning a personal-best 39 matches and a fourth career ATP World Tour title.
•    Troicki halted his four-match losing streak in the opening round, edging past Bernard Tomic 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 7-6(4) in two hours and 47 minutes.
•    Troicki is contesting this tournament for the fifth time. He has fallen in the 2R every year so far.
•    Troicki opened his season in Sydney, where he came through qualifying before capturing his second career title (d. Kukushkin). It was the first all-qualifier final in ATP World Tour history.
•    Troicki also reached a pair of QFs in February: Zagreb (l. to Garcia-Lopez) and Acapulco (l. to Anderson).
•    Troicki has a 4-50 record vs. Top 10 opponents with his most recent win coming against then world No. 5 David Ferrer in Shenzhen last September.
•    In 2014, Troicki finished just outside the Top 100 at No. 102 after climbing more than 700 places during the season. He reached his first ATP World Tour SF in three years as a qualifier in Vienna in October (l. to Murray).


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