Saturday, May 14, 2016
The finals of the 2016 Italian Open in Rome are now set. For the second week in a row, World #1 Novak Djokovic and World #3 Andy Murray will face off in a clay court final. Last week, Djokovic prevailed 6-2 3-6 6-3 to with the Mutua Madrid Open. This week, Djokovic extended his streak of wins over Rafael Nadal to 7 with a tight straight sets win in the quarterfinals 7-5 7-6(5) and now leads their head-to-head 26-23. Djokovic won a three-hour three-set thriller against Kei Nishikori in the semifinals to set up his 33rd career meeting with Murray. The other member of the Big Four, Roger Federer is currently recovering from an injury, and although he won his first match of the week against Young Gun Sascha Zverev he lost to another, Dominic Thiem, the very next round.
In the final, Djokovic, despite not playing his best, has reached another final, and could extend his lead in the record number of ATP Masters titles if he wins his 30th shield on Sunday, extending his undefeated streak against fellow Top 10 players to 14-0 for 2016.
MadProfessah's Pick: Djokovic.
On the women's side, the haphazard results of the seeds continues with only Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova making it through to the quarters. Serena efficiently dispatched Sveta (losing only two games) and Muguruza made it to the semifinals, where she surprisingly lost to Madison Keys, who earlier in the week took out Petra Kvitova. Angie Kerber lost in the very first round, and neither Simona Halep nor Aggie Radwanska played Rome, but Radwanska will end up with the #2 seed at Roland Garros, despite the fact that Halep is the one who won Madrid last week! Serena is in her 4th Rome final, Keys is in her first. Serena has won 19 consecutive matches in Rome, but surprisingly has not won a title in 2016 yet. The last two times Keys won a title she went through two top 10 players to reach the final and she has done that here. But Serena hates to lose to other Americans, and hasn't done so in a final since the 2008 Wimbledon.
MadProfessah's pick: Serena.