• Simon gets another shot at Federer in Rome third round

    5/16/13 4:43 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Simon gets another shot at Federer in Rome third round Roger Federer will continue his Rome campaign against Gilles Simon on Thursday. The head-to-head series stands at 2-2 with a Masters quarterfinal spot at stake this time around.

    Roger Federer and Gilles Simon will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers when they collide in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia campaign on Thursday night.

    The head-to-head series is tied up at two wins apiece and they have never faced each other on clay. Simon upset Federer twice during his breakout 2008 campaign; in three sets at the Toronto Masters and a few months later at the Masters Cup. Federer has never defeated Simon in anything other than five sets (at the 2011 Australian Open) or by retirement (two years ago in Miami with the Swiss leading 3-0 in the first set).

    This appears to be another decent opportunity for the underdog, because Federer has not been at his best in 2013 nor does he have a lot of match play under his belt. The world No. 3 made his clay-court debut this season only last week in Madrid, where he lost his second match to Kei Nishikori. Federer, though, looked far better in a 6-1, 6-2 rout of Potito Starace on Tuesday in Rome.

    Simon is still in search of a true marquee win this year, but he has at least remained consistent. The 17th-ranked Frenchman has improved his record to 22-12 thanks to Rome victories over Filippo Volandri (6-3, 2-6, 6-4) and Mikhail Youzhny (7-5, 6-3). Simon has now won two matches at each of his last three clay-court tournaments following a disappointing first-round defeat in Monte-Carlo.

    This will be a much tougher test for the No. 2 seed than the one he was given by Starace, but the question is which Federer will show up. Simon is arguably the last opponent you want to face when your game is even slightly off the mark, simply because he keeps ball after ball in play and instigates a whole host of long rallies--especially on clay.

    Federer will survive if he plays close to as well as he did on Tuesday, but a Simon victory would not come as a big surprise. The 17-time slam champion in three sets is the pick.

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upset alert?

RickyDimon , 5/16/13 4:54 AM

Simon is tired,Federer should win handily.

stratocast51 , 5/16/13 5:32 AM

^^^agree, Simon is no longer the terror of old. Fed to proceed comfortably.

rafaisthebest , 5/16/13 6:23 AM

I know that Simon has been a tough opponent for Fed and others in the past. However, I don't think he will be able to pull off this upset. I like the way Ricky put it in his last paragraph. Fed does have to come out and play well the way he did against Starace. I think he's going to do it.

Nativenewyorker , 5/16/13 6:34 AM

Allez Fed! keep the good play going!

Fedkovic23 , 5/16/13 10:55 AM

Ricky's predictions are way off this week. Federer in straights.

willmw101 , 5/16/13 11:42 AM

I expect a three setter too

Shireling , 5/16/13 1:37 PM

'To prophesy is extremely difficult - especially with respect to the future'

Chinese proverb.

ed251137 , 5/16/13 2:02 PM

^^^What else would one prophesy about, the past?


rafaisthebest , 5/16/13 2:18 PM


Dont underestimate Simon too much here. I would not be surprised for an upset but I expect Fed to win in 3!

Monalysa , 5/16/13 2:39 PM

also, who prophesiced here?

Shireling , 5/16/13 2:45 PM

I'm not sure if the Chinese do irony but I guess it is a tongue in cheek proverb.

ed251137 , 5/16/13 2:46 PM

It is irony actually, ed251137, and Chinese proverbs are a minefield in likey.

rafaisthebest , 5/16/13 2:53 PM

I like this one:
'to defeat your enemy just wait long enough by the river bank and you'll see his body floating down the stream'
not sure how it can be applied to tennis though :)

Shireling , 5/16/13 4:45 PM

The oldie is on fire - one set an a break in less than 30 minutes, no coverage on tv only internet.

newfangkc , 5/16/13 9:58 PM

But for the seventh game in set 2 it would have been over in less than an hour. It took 1 hour and 3 mins.

newfangkc , 5/16/13 10:30 PM

Impressive performance by Roger. Been a while he doesn't play like this.

Emiliano55 , 5/16/13 10:33 PM

That was VERY nicely done from Feds. Crisp and efficient.

cherylmurray , 5/16/13 11:53 PM

Fed came to play and play he did in vintage Fed. I'd like to see him win rome to add to his MS tally. Go rog, you can do it, or just do it, per Nike!

scoretracker , 5/17/13 4:33 AM

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