After its elimination in quarters of the Madrid Masters 1,000, the Spanish Rafael Nadal, number 2 of the ATP ranking, will go for the tenth crown on the clay of the Foro Italico, which hosts from this Sunday until May 16 the Masters 1,000 of Rome with a luxury box featuring 19 of the top 20 players in the world.
Nadal, nine times king of Foro Italico, where he won his first title in 2005 in an epic final of more than five hours against Argentine Guillermo Coria, will seek to improve the semifinal achieved in the previous edition, when Serbian Novak Djokovic, world No. 1, lifted his fifth title to heaven in the Italian capital.
The one from Manacor, 35, gscored nine of his eleven finals on the clay of the Foro Italico and will open a new battle between generations with the Russian Daniil Medvedev, number 3 in the ranking and “master” in the last Nitto ATP Finals in London, or the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, leader of the race to the next Finals, based in Turin.
There will also be the German Alexander Zverev, his executioner in Madrid, world number 6 and champion in Rome in 2017, in addition to being a finalist in 2018, and the Russian Andrey Rublev, world number 7 and another tennis star of the present and of the future. The Swiss Roger Federer will be missing once again, four times finalist, but never champion in Rome, whose last participation in the tournament in the Italian capital dates back to 2019. He did not register for the 2020 edition, which was held exceptionally in September due to the coronavirus.
The Swiss, who will turn 40 on August 7, has only played one tournament this season, last March in Doha. There will be no lack of spectacle in the women’s team, which this year has the first 41 of the world rankings ready to fight for the title won last year by the Romanian Simona Halep.
The Constanza player is emerging as one of the great favorites along with the Australian Ashleigh Barty, number 1 in the world, the Japanese Naomi Osaka, number 3, or the Czech Karolina Pliskova, who occupies the ninth position in the ranking and was already champion in Rome in 2019. The Spanish arrives eagerly Garbiñe Muguruza, number 13 in the world rankings, who missed the Madrid tournament through injury and was a semifinalist in Rome last year, when he surrendered to Halep after practicing great tennis in the previous rounds.
The tournament, which reaches its 78th edition, will allow access to a reduced number of spectators from the round of 16, on Thursday, May 13, and has a particular sanitary protocol to guarantee the safety of the tennis players. The players will stay in two separate hotels and will only be able to go out to train at the Foro Italico or to play their official matches. They will also undergo a PCR test every four days, from their arrival in Rome