How does Rome’s runner-up do in Paris?

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May 20, 2013 by Parveer Mann

Roger Federer finishes runner-up to Rafael Nadal at 2013 Rome Masters. (Image available on

Roger Federer finishes runner-up to Rafael Nadal at 2013 Rome Masters. (Image available on

The 30th clash between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the 2013 Rome Masters proved to be underwhelming. In winning 6-1, 6-3, Nadal further increased his impressive record against Federer to 20-10 (13-2 on clay) and captured his seventh title in Rome.

It really has become routine to talk about Rafa’s clay dominance and he seems to have answered any doubts we may have had post-injury. He’s back to a playing level that makes him an easy favourite in advance of Roland Garros and his double in Madrid and Rome support that claim.

Rome success = Paris success?

As the last precursor to the French Open, we know Rome has been a strong indicator for Rafa’s future success in Paris. The seven titles in Rome equal his mark in the French Open and he has won both in the same year five times. The more interesting question may be if the success at the Rome Masters for the runner-ups in the Nadal era lead to good results at that year’s French Open.

Table 1: How Rome runner-ups fare in Paris since 2005 (Nadal’s 1st French Open win)


Rome Masters runner-up

French Open result

Previous Best French Open result


Guillermo Coria


F ‘04


Roger Federer


SF ‘05


Fernando Gonzalez R128 QF ‘03


Stanislas Wawrinka R32 R32 ‘05


Novak Djokovic R32 SF ’07,’08


David Ferrer R32 QF ’05,’08


Rafael Nadal W W ’05,’06,’07,’08,’10


Novak Djokovic F SF ’07,’08,’11


Roger Federer


W ‘09

Overall, the correlation between Rome success and Paris success is a mixed bag. In the last eight years, the Rome runner-up has had or tied his best result at Roland Garros that year four times and did not match a career best another four times. The biggest question may be for Federer fans who hope this good week in Rome (nothing is guaranteed) means two more good weeks in Paris starting on Sunday.

Highlights of the Tennis Weekend:

It was a week for great champions in Rome (Nadal, Serena Williams and the Bryan Brothers). So, I thought I should highlight two players who had nearly as great weeks in reaching the semifinals. Simona Halep and Benoit Paire played above their rankings and cashed in at the financially lucrative Masters/Premier events.



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