ATP Rome Masters 1000 Preview | The Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2019
The ATP Tour’s latest stop on its globetrotting voyage is the Italian capital. Rome welcomes the final Masters event in the build-up to Roland Garros, 2019’s second Grand Slam. There will be one week between Rome and Roland Garros, but the Rome Masters is important on its own.
Rome offers a unique blend of history and modernity in its Foro Italico tennis complex, which sits in the shadows of the Stadio Olympico. The complex holds courts such as Pietrangli, dug into the earth, and open to all spectators with a grounds pass.
The tournament organizers were dealt a massive boost with Roger Federer‘s late confirmation to the 64-man draw, with the 37-year-old Swiss taking to Instagram to announce that he will partake in the 76th edition of the Italian Open.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion is joined in the main draw with eight of the World’s top ten vying for the title. Federer will play Joao Sousa or promising young American Frances Tiafoe in his first match.
Juan Martin Del Potro also returns to the fore, after another long spell out with injury. The 2009 US Open champion is back. The Argentine’s three-set defeat to Laslo Djere last week in Madrid was his first match since Delray Beach, where he was toppled as defending champion in the quarterfinal.
The Main Threats
Novak Djokovic will need to recover following his Madrid Open final clash with the red-hot Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas before flying to Rome for his Round 2 match against either Denis Shapovalov or clay-court specialist Pablo Carreno Busta.
Rafael Nadal, who has not enjoyed his usual level on the crushed brick this year, will face a Frenchman, either Richard Gasquet or Jeremy Chardy, in his BNL D’Italia opener. The Spaniard ia in desperate search for some form heading into the French Open, where he will be hoping to claim a 12th title.
Alexander Zverev is another top seed looking to find some form this week. The German is the defending champion, but will have to significantly up his level from recent weeks if he is to retain his title. Zverev awaits in the second round for Italian wild card Matteo Berrettini or Lucas Pouille of France, both of whom have a strong pedigree on the surface.
As with all Masters events these days, there are plenty of mouth-watering first-round matchups, including British No. 1 Kyle Edmund vs Fernando Verdasco, and David Goffin vs Stan Wawrinka.
However, Nick Kyrgios vs Daniil Medvedev is also an eye-catching round one prospect, perhaps the most intriguing with both prone to fireworks on court.
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