• Federer seeks first Rome title, opens with Berlocq

    5/15/12 8:10 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer seeks first Rome title, opens with Berlocq Roger Federer, who has never triumphed in Rome, will kick off his week against Carlos Berlocq on Wednesday. The winner heads toward a third-round meeting with Juan Carlos Ferrero.

    Three days after capturing the Madrid title, Roger Federer will be back in action at the Internazionli BNL d'Italia. Following a first-round bye in Rome as the No. 3 seed, Federer is set to face Carlos Berlocq for the first time in his career on Wednesday afternoon.

    Berlocq advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-3 blowout of Blaz Kavcic on Monday. The 38th-ranked Argentine is in the midst of his best year on tour and he has a 16-11 record to show for his efforts. Highlights include a runner-up finish in Vina del Mar in addition to four other quarterfinal appearances.

    Federer has climbed to No. 2 in the world--surpassing Rafael Nadal--thanks to an outstanding start to his season. The 30-year-old Swiss is 28-3 and he already owns four titles (Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells, and Madrid).

    "We'll see how I feel over the next few days," Federer said after winning Madrid when asked about his possible Rome participation. "It's been a tough week. (My body) does hurt a bit so I just have to make sure I make the right decision. I hope I can play."

    A motivated Federer confirmed on Tuesday that he would play, and that is bad news for Berlocq. The underdog is never one to go down without a fight, but Federer is too good right now and should cruise in straight sets.

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C'MON!!! Do It Rog! :) So happy that you have decided "and" are able to play Rome. For sure tennis is best when you are a contender. :) Aller Roger! Hopp!

sky , 5/16/12 6:00 AM

Win Rome and march towards no:1 ranking

sabs , 5/16/12 6:24 AM

Motivation and momentum is the key.Roger is looking in good form at this stage of the season.Let's hope for the best.

hrsikesa , 5/16/12 8:43 AM

The Maestro is in the court now. All the best Roger!!

velliat53 , 5/16/12 2:04 PM

This is very messy tennis right now. Wind surely a factor. Roger missing drop shots and backhands atm.

cherylmurray , 5/16/12 2:41 PM

yah for sure cheryl, for a moment it looked like a tornado was circling around Roger in that first set

sky , 5/16/12 2:57 PM

Cool! Congrats FED/FEDfans! Moving on... :)

sky , 5/16/12 3:15 PM

Keep Moving...............

hrsikesa , 5/16/12 4:28 PM

Watched the match on TV and almost couldn't see the ball.

Blue clay much better in that aspect.

If I had to watch a stream wouldn't be able to see the ball most definitely.

bleck , 5/16/12 4:57 PM

Roger has 0 (zero) Rome titles so far?

rfzr , 5/16/12 5:05 PM

bleck, 5/16/12 4:57 PM

Don't worry, it's only 12 months to the next Madrid Master's..........not only will the blue clay be there to improve ball visibility, but we are told, by the tournament owner himself no less, that the balls will be fluorescent so you can't not see those balls! All the btter as you track each and every ball to the final, where Roger will be guaranteed a berth, and a title, since his 2 main rivals, Nole and Rafa will not be there.

And don't worry about Muzza, a genuine potential banana skin for Roger given their H2H, will not be there, his back will act up at the mere thought of withstanding the blue clay.............

What a wonderful world................

rafaisthebest , 5/16/12 5:53 PM

In all seriousness the players may be able to see the ball well enough on red clay but as a viewer it was much tougher today after having watched Madrid last week. What about fluorescent balls on red clay?

chr18 , 5/16/12 6:30 PM

Personally, I can see the ball very well in Rome, but more importantly am enjoying the God-tennis on display.

Madrid? The issue of ball visibility or otherwise never registered with me because I was just concentrating on trying to "engage" with the God-awful tennis on display........

rafaisthebest , 5/16/12 6:41 PM

You couldn't see the ball clearly here because of the swirling wind that sweep up the red dirt. Can you imagine being surrounded by swirling blue dust and some of these dust landed on your face and your shirt. You turned blue in your face and you look blueish all over!

The Madrid blue 'clay' is not real clay, when there's swirling wind, you don't see blue dirt or dust flying around. The 'clay' hardly get blown up, no wonder Serena was commenting that one don't get dirtied on blue clay.

luckystar , 5/16/12 6:45 PM

Accept in, Fedfans, the blue "clay" in Madrid is not clay..........calling it that is being disingenuous. What you are seeing in Rome is clay.

To compare what you saw in Madrid with what you are seeing in Rome is the proverbial apples and oranges thing.......................

rafaisthebest , 5/16/12 6:58 PM

Put another way:

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a is a duck.

If a tennis court looks like a hard court and plays like a hard is a hard court.

rafaisthebest , 5/16/12 7:04 PM

True, it's not real clay. And the 4 semifinalists there were relatively aggressive players.

However comparing the grass of wimbledon today compared to what it was in the days of Edgerg, then Sampras and Ivanesevic, it's not 'grass' either. Not much serving and volleying, etc. That's not only due to racket technology. Maybe it's a good thing (I'm sure Nadal fans like it, and Fed fans didn't mind back when Roddick was an ace machine in the mid 2000s).

Bharata , 5/16/12 9:45 PM

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