Rome Crisis Center, Day 2

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 /by

Rome

Hi everyone. It seemed as though the weather was the real star of the day in Rome yesterday. I know that early-round matches at some events are ill-attended, but the depleted-of-spectators scene pictured above (during the match between local boy Potito Starace and Spain's Albert Montanes) was unusual even so. Those of us watching on TV could see the way that the wind was whipping the dust around, and at some stages the players were dealing with fairly heavy rain.

Today's schedule is jam-packed to try to deal with the resulting backlog - the link to the Order of Play is here. Even the outermost sunken courts are being pressed into service to deal with matches between players many of us know and cherish. Yet no-one except those on site will get to see potential delights such as the encounters between Ernests Gulbis and Nicolas Almagro, or Thomaz Bellucci and Feliciano Lopez. The second biggest name playing today will be Andy Murray, who takes on Juan Monaco in his second-round match.Their head-to-head is hardly definitive - they have played just once, in Miami this year, when Murray triumphed in three sets on his best surface. Monaco's best surface is clay, so this should be a good test for both players. Murray's progress on clay has been greatly talked up after a single tournament in Monte Carlo this year - can he deliver today? Later Novak Djokovic takes on Albert Montanes, who recently extended him to three sets in Monte Carlo. 

As always, enjoy the tennis - and please stay on-topic and stick to discussing the day's matches until after they are over. Later it's OK to drift off-topic. We'll make an exception if the weather is poor, which could be the case today - rain is forecast in Rome every day this week until Saturday, and right now the umbrellas are up (um....whose idea was it to get rid of Hamburg and its roof within the Masters Series?).

- Rosangel Valenti

[Note - as of around 15.30 p.m. EST, we are moving comments to a new post on the Overflow blog. It's linked below in blue. RV.]

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