Djokovic Rolls Past Federer to Record Fourth Rome Title
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Novak Djokovic repeated as champion in Rome, and certified himself as the favorite to take the Roland Garros crown with a 6-4 6-3 drubbing of Roger Federer, who failed yet again in his elusive search for a title in Rome, one of the few titles he has failed to win in his illustrious career. Djokovic, the world #1 has won all but one major tournament this year (Madrid) as he claimed his fifth title of the season (4 Masters+the Australian Open). Federer cracked under the pressure of Djokovic’s wallball defense, and had little chance, as he was a set and a break down rapidly, and Djokovic never looked back, putting on a clinic in the match between the world #1 and world #2.
Djokovic progressively improved as he advanced through the tournament this week, as he surprisingly showed signs of struggle early, dropping sets to Nicolas Almagro, Thomaz Bellucci, and Kei Nishikori before recording routine wins over David Ferrer, and Federer. Almagro, Bellucci and Nishikori all had their chances, while Ferrer was able to hold Djokovic close to the vest, but they were all unable to raise their level when it mattered, as Djokovic has the ability to slam the door even when struggling against opponents these days, and has cemented himself, going into Roland Garros as the favorite, though he has never won the title there, the only Slam he hasn’t won in his career.
Federer continued to impress given his age, and recovered from prior struggles this clay court season to record routine wins over Pablo Cuevas, Kevin Anderson, Tomas Berdych, and Stan Wawrinka, who shocked an abysmal Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. Nadal has serious question marks going into RG, while Wawrinka found his form, but wilted against his countryman Federer. Berdych once again struggled against a top tier opponent, after doing well against others.
Cuevas and David Marrero took the doubles title over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, as three Spaniards were represented in the doubles final in Rome this year.