Last ATP Masters 1000 on clay this year, and a very different surface to the one in Madrid last week... Tournament marked by Rafa Nadal's defeat against Thiem in Madrid, proving that the Manacor native is not unbeatable...
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Going to the ATP Rome Analysis, again Nadal and Thiem are at the top of the draw, to which we have to add people like Nishikori, Dimitrov or Djokovic.
What is foreseeable is a quarter-final where Thiem and Nadal meet as it happened here last year with the Austrian winning, and as it happened in Madrid a week ago.
Despite the precedents I think this Nadal is much better than 2017, and that Thiem despite beating Nadal, did not make a good tournament, and with a much slower surface should not be able to beat the Spaniard.
In the other semi-final I am confident of a surprise, that area is very open, and there are several players who are not at their best, or the court is not well suited to them.
Dimitrov is showing that clay is not his thing, and he is not getting the rhythm, Nishikori is very irregular, he plays a good match but no more, if he meets someone consistent he should not get far.
Djokovic more of the same, I have not yet seen a full match in conditions, many ups and downs in his game and I do not think he will pass Isner even though this surface does not help the American.
My surprise is the German Kohlschreiber, the German is playing very well in this part of the season, with very good service and with few errors, I think that this area of the draw with players so irregular, the regularity of Kohlschreiber will be what makes the difference and put him in the quarterfinals.
Already in the semifinals the German should be no match for Nadal as it happened this year in the Davis Cup.
The lower part of the draw is much more open but I think Zverev is a step above his rivals, also remember that the German is defending the title he won here last year.
As of today Coric, Gasquet and Cuevas have already been surprisingly eliminated, and I don't expect much from Anderson or Cilic.
Zverev's consistency should take him to the semi-finals without any problems, I don't see Pouille or Edmund standing up to the young German, who although he sometimes has problems in his matches, always ends up turning it around because of his great mentality.
Carreño and Schwartzman are the options that I see more clear to reach the semifinals, I have decided for Carreño, but in a match between the two can win either.
I think that either of the two can stand up to the smaller Zverev, but in the end the German should win and fight with Nadal for the title defence.
As it happened in other tournaments I don't see value to the final winner of Nadal, not even to Zverev, the odds are very low and in a week and 5 matches anything can happen, even an injury.
Zverev is a very tough opponent but he is not as aggressive as Thiem, and at the moment I don't see him beating Nadal on clay, unless it is with height as it could be in Madrid.
Carreño to win his fourth odds 5.00
Kohlschreiber to win his fourth odds 9.00
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