Clay-court tennis is always chalk-full of surprises (remember hearing "French Open champion Iva Majoli or Gaston Gaudio"? INSANITY.) So this week's no different with the biggest surprise, of course, being Rafael Nadal's defeat yesterday at the hands of Juan Carlos Ferrero. But another one (or two?) is lurking in the dusty, clay-covered centre court in Rome: Andy Roddick and James Blake making the quarterfinals.
American ballers fears and, frankly, disinterest in the terra bateau have been well documented. But no one could've predicted that one let alone two of them would advance this far. Today A-Rod defeated Simone Bolelli 7-6, 6-3 and James took a big clay scalp in Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
Could the red tide be turning? Some would say yes, with DtL! reader Kai even giving A-Rod the title:
Rome will be in roddick's hands =PPerhaps they gained confidence from buddy Sam Querrey's impressive stomping of Richard Gasquet in Monte Carlo? Perhaps. But one thing is clear: the Americans have decided to step up their challenge and give the dirt its well-deserved respect.
Whether it leads to a title is anyone's guess.
(images via Getty)