The world’s high gamers arrive on the Internazionali BNL d’Italia for the third and ultimate clay-court ATP Masters 1000 occasion of the season in Rome.
Ten-time champion Rafael Nadal and five-time champion Novak Djokovic headline the sphere on the Foro Italico, whereas Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Carlos Alcaraz are additionally robust contenders within the Italian capital.
ATPTour.com seems to be at 10 issues to observe this week.
1) Rafa Defends Crown: Nadal hit the bottom working on his return after six weeks out with a rib damage on the Mutua Madrid Open, however the legendary Spaniard’s run was halted by countryman Alcaraz in an exhilarating quarter-final conflict. Nadal will look to up his stage additional at a match the place he has probably the most titles (10) and most match wins (68), a file that also makes him the person to beat within the Italian capital.
2) Novak Shoots For Six: Djokovic could have suffered disappointment on the ultimate hurdle towards Nadal in 2021 however the World No. 1 is a five-time champion himself within the Italian capital. The Serbian was again to someplace close to his greatest in Madrid after a stuttering begin to the season, and he can be aiming to enhance an impressive 59-10 match file in Rome as he chases a maiden title of 2022.
3) Alcaraz To Make Debut: The red-hot 19-year-old has hit milestone after milestone this season. The Spaniard notched a primary Masters 1000 crown in Miami in March, with one other trophy in Barcelona serving to to push him into the Prime 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the primary time on 25 April.
Though a debutant in Rome, Alcaraz will arrive within the Italian capital a fully-fledged title contender and may additionally by then have already change into a two-time Masters 1000 champion, with the Spaniard taking part in in Sunday’s championship match in Madrid.
4) Zverev To Rule In Rome?: Second seed Zverev has loads of fond reminiscences from Rome to encourage him on the Foro Italico, with the World No. 3 having gained his maiden Masters 1000 title there in 2017. The massive-serving German comes into the match having recaptured a few of his greatest kind in reaching the semi-finals in Madrid this week after a tough begin to 2022.
5) Tsitsipas 2019 Finalist: Zverev’s semi-final opponent in Spain is Tsitsipas, and the Greek can be seeded fourth as he heads to Rome. The Greek has already loved Masters 1000 success on clay this 12 months, having triumphed at April’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, and the World No. 5 will hope his spectacular kind on the crimson grime permits him to raised his 2019 run to the semi-finals within the Italian capital.[FOLLOW ACTION]
6) Sinner Leads Italian Cost: Native followers can have some robust contenders to get behind regardless of the absence of Italian No. 1 Matteo Berrettini. Jannik Sinner has had a strong 2022 to this point, reaching 4 tour-level quarter-finals, however the tenth seed has by no means been previous the third spherical in Rome. In the meantime Fabio Fognini reached the final eight on the Foro Italico in 2018, and the 34-year-old stays a risk to anybody on Tour on his day.
7) Sonego To Shine Once more?: Lorenzo Sonego had solely reached one Masters 1000 quarter-final previous to the 2021 occasion in Rome however upset Gael Monfils, Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev on the way in which to the semi-finals. The World No. 28 has struggled at instances this season and owns a 10-13 match file for the 12 months, and he’ll look to dwelling help for inspiration as soon as once more as he faces Denis Shapovalov within the opening spherical.
8) Ruud & Rublev Risk: Fifth seed Casper Ruud has gained simply 4 matches in a disappointing clay season to this point after reaching his maiden Masters 1000 ultimate in Miami in March, however the Norwegian enjoys the Rome clay. He reached the third spherical as a qualifier in 2019 earlier than a run to the semi-finals a 12 months later was solely stopped by eventual champion Djokovic. In distinction Andrey Rublev’s brutal baseline hitting has lit up the crimson grime this 12 months, however the sixth seed is but to elevate a Masters 1000 title. May his time are available Rome?
9) Mektic/Pavic Defend Doubles Crown: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic gained 9 tour-level titles in 2021, one in every of which was a 3rd Masters 1000 crown of the 12 months in Rome, however the third seeds are but to elevate a trophy in 2022. Prime seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury search to again up their maiden clay-court title collectively gained in Monte Carlo in April, whereas second seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos look to duplicate their 2020 title run on the Foro italico.
10) Stars Pull Double Responsibility: A number of singles stars be part of the doubles draw with Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov set for a blockbuster opener towards No. 1-ranked pairing Ram and Salisbury. Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul, John Isner and Diego Schwartzman, and Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz make up different robust pairings taking to the doubles court docket this week in Italy.