Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TENNIS TUESDAY: Djokovic and Sharapova Win Rome Titles, French Open Starts Sunday

Federer-Djokovic XXXIX Goes To Djokovic 6-4 6-3 In Rome Final
The 39th meeting between the 17-time major champion Roger Federer and the 8-time major champion Novak Djokovic was another example of the stellar play the Serbian 27-year-old has displayed all year. He faced only one breakpoint in the match and made 10 unforced errors to Federer's 23. With his win, Djokovic narrowed his head-to-head deficit  with Federer to 19-20.

Djokovic On 37-Match Winning Streak Against Best Opponents In Biggest Tournaments
Djokovic's 2015 record is 35-2 (14-1 against other Top 10 opponents) and he has now won 5 of the 6 biggest titles of the year (and he skipped the Madrid Masters to rest). He has now won 24 Masters series shields in his career, tying Federer's and he is 6 years younger than the Swiss Great. He will almost certainly surpass Rafael Nadal's current record total of 28. Against the best opposition at the majors and masters shields tournaments Djokovic has won 37 matches in a row, with his last loss coming to Federer in Shanghai. Pundits are now starting to talk about the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic era instead of just the Federer-Nadal era.

Sharapova Outlasts CSN In Rome Final
Maria Sharapova wrapped up her clay court preparation with an important 4-6 7-5 6-1 win against a tough clay court opponent in Carla Suarez Navarro to win her 3rd Rome title. She also reclaimed her #2 World ranking when Simona Halep fell to Suarez Navarro in a 3-hour slugfest the day before. Last year, Sharapova and Halep played the one of the best matches of the year in the 2014 French Open final.

French Open Begins On Sunday With 9-Time Champion Unlikely To Be Seeded Highly
Rafael Nadal is currently ranked World #7 and will almost certainly be seeded out of the Top 4 which means that he could meet one of his higher ranked rivals in the quarterfinals as he tries to win his 10th title at Roland Garros. On the women's side, Maria Sharapova  and Serena Williams will be on the opposite sides of the draw, and could meet in the final again. The two best players in the world also met in the finals of the first grand slam tournament of the year but their match-up can't really be called a rivalry until Sharapova wins one of these matches, something she has not done since late 2004 (despite playing 16 times). However, I think Sharapova will eventually win another match against Serena and Roland Garros is probably one of the best places she could do it.

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