Rome Crisis Center, Day 4

by: Peter Bodo | April 30, 2009

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Hi everyone. As always here's your gathering-place for discussing the ongoing tennis. As Crisis Centers tend to be pretty busy, we ask that you stay focused on the tennis until after the day's play is over. Afterwards it's OK to drift off-topic.

The sun stayed with us yesterday, so we're into the last sixteen today in Rome. There could be some rain - there are a few clouds around. Today's Order of Play can be found on this link. We saw a few surprises yesterday - and certain surprises remained unseen by all but the fans on site at the Foro Italico, due to the backlog of matches that needed to be cleared on the outside courts yesterday. Thus David Ferrer exited at the hands of Paul-Henri Mathieu, and Jurgen Melzer beat Nikolay Davydenko, both of whom were around in the late stages in Barcelona last week. 

Today we'll have at least two matches on Stadio Pietrangeli where there seems to be little love lost between the competitors - namely Tommy Robredo versus Novak Djokovic (head-to-head 4-1 to Djokovic, most recently a testy encounter at the 2008 US Open) and Rafael Nadal versus Robin Soderling (2-0 to Nadal, most recently another testy five-setter in between days of rain delays at Wimbledon in 2007. Radek Stepanek faces Roger Federer for the second year running in Rome - this time last year he triumphed in two tiebreaks - the overall head-to-head is 7-2 to Federer. The matchups on Campo 1 are also enticing - Juan Monaco versus Marin Cilic (Cilic won their only match to date in three sets at last year's Olympics); Juan Martin Del Potro up against last year's finalist Stanislas Wawrinka (Wawrinka heads the head-to-head 2-0, but since they last net Del Potro's ranking has risen to number 5); and an encounter between Richard Gasquet and Fernando Verdasco to round of the day. In the latter case Gasquet leads the head-to-head 4-2, including both matches on clay to date, but Verdasco was the winner of their last match, most recently at Indian Wells.

First up, though, is Fernando Gonzalez versus Jurgen Melzer on the main court. Melzer leads this head-to-head 2-1.

As always, enjoy the tennis.

- Rosangel Valenti

PS. For those of you following the WTA today, Master Ace has provided the following timecheck information:

WTA Thursday schedule:
Stuttgart - starts at 8 AM TW on center court except where listed:
Wozniacki vs Bartoli followed by Pironkova vs Radwanska on Court 1
Szavay vs Dementieva
Kuznetsova vs Li
Jankovic vs Lisicki at 12:15 PM TW
Safina vs Hantuchova
Pennetta vs Petrova
Fes - starts at 7 AM TW:
Hercog vs Kleybanova
Makarova vs Domachowska
Czink vs Hradecka
Medina Garrigues vs Dominguez Lino

[Note: we have opened up an Overflow as of around 1.25 p.m. EST. See link in blue below. RV,

Further note: a second Overflow has been opened up at 5 p.m.EST].

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