• Federer aiming for first Rome title

    5/12/13 10:17 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer aiming for first Rome title Roger Federer will look to rebound from an early Madrid loss when he takes the court this week in Madrid. Federer is joined in the final quarter of the draw by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, and Tommy Haas.

    Statistically, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia is Roger Federer's worst of the clay-court Masters events. He is 23-12 lifetime in Rome with no titles compared with a 23-10 record and no titles in Monte-Carlo.

    Federer will bid for his first triumph at the Foro Italico this week while also hoping to bounce back from a third-round loss in Madrid to Kei Nishikori. The second-ranked Swiss has played only two matches since losing to Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells and only six since the Dubai event in late February. By contrast, nearest Top 8 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has already contested seven matches in this current clay-court swing alone.

    Tsonga joins Federer in what should be a competitive and mostly wide-open section of the Rome bracket. This is a favorable draw in that Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are on the other half, but the quarter itself provides plenty of danger. Tsonga may have to open against Jerzy Janowicz following a first-round bye while Federer is on course for a potential third-round showdown against either Tommy Haas or Gilles Simon.

    One intriguing second-rounder featuring Richard Gasquet and Grigor Dimitrov is already set. Gasquet held off Sam Querrey on Sunday before Dimitrov took care of friend and familiar foe Marcos Baghdatis. Both the Frenchman and the Bulgarian are possible opponents for Tsonga in round three.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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