Saturday, 18 May 2013

ATP Rome Semi-Final Predictions: Nadal-Berdych, Paire-Federer

1. Tomas Berdych v Rafael Nadal
Tomas Berdych
I was salivating at the prospect of a Nadal-Djokovic semi-final, but Tomas Berdych came out of nowhere to upset Novak Djokovic, posting just a second win over the Serb and coming back from a 6-2 5-2 deficit to triumph, 2-6 7-5 6-4.  I didn't see the match, but I was rather dumbfounded watching it on the live scores.  Berdych takes on Rafael Nadal, who overcame another spirited effort from David Ferrer, 6-4 4-6 6-2.  Ferrer played one of the points of this year to claim the second set, but despite playing a terrific match, he is always going to come out second best to Nadal on the clay.  Nadal defeated Berdych in Indian Wells where the Czech player struggled mentally, eventually falling in two sets.  His game could trouble Nadal, but the Spaniard is pretty zoned in at the minute and should make yet another final in 2013.

Prediction - Nadal to beat Berdych in 2 tight sets

2. Benoit Paire v Roger Federer
Roger Federer
We had Pablo Andujar making a Masters 1000 semi-final in Madrid and this time round, its Benoit Paire, who has achieved the same feat in Rome.  The Frenchman has had a superb week, knocking out Nicolas Almagro and Juan Martin del Potro in the 2nd and 3rd rounds respectively before destroying Marcel Granollers, 6-1 6-0 in the quarter-finals.  His semi-final opponent, Roger Federer had to overcome a tricky match with Jerzy Janowicz, 6-4 7-6.  Janowicz served for the second set, but could not close it out and then was outplayed in the tiebreak.  The Bercy finalist showed enough promise to suggest he could be a danger over the next months.  Federer has won both previous matches against Paire handily, the most recent of those coming in the first round of the Australian Open.  Federer has been moving through the gears nicely this week and I predict he will make his first final of the year.

Prediction - Federer to beat Paire in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

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