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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Scouting Report: Alcaraz & Djokovic Headline Star-Packed Rome Discipline | ATP Tour

The world’s largest stars journey to Rome this week for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the season’s third and remaining clay-court ATP Masters 1000 occasion. The match was expanded to a 12-day occasion this yr.

Carlos Alcaraz brings loads of momentum to the Foro Italico after rising victorious in Barcelona and Madrid, however World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and different stars within the draw will attempt to halt the Spaniard’s sizzling streak. seems to be at 10 issues to observe in Rome.

1) Alcaraz Making Debut: The most well liked participant on the circuit will make his Rome debut. Alcaraz has competed in Italy earlier than, having received the Subsequent Gen ATP Finals in Milan in 2021, however this can be his first ATP Tour motion within the nation exterior of the occasion. The Spaniard is contemporary off profitable title defences in Barcelona and Madrid and can attempt to safe his fifth Masters 1000 title.

2) Djokovic Again In Motion: Six-time Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion Djokovic returns to motion for the primary time since Banja Luka. The Serbian has suffered early losses in every of his two clay-court tournaments this yr (2-2 report), however can be assured in Rome, the place he’s set for his seventeenth consecutive look and the place he has by no means misplaced earlier than the quarter-finals. Final yr, he captured his 1,000th tour-level victory on the occasion within the semi-finals in opposition to Casper Ruud.

3) No. 1 Replace: Djokovic will compete on the Foro Italico because the No. 1 participant within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, however he won’t depart the match in high spot. Alcaraz will return to World No. 1 by enjoying his first match in Rome. As defending champion, Djokovic can at finest stay on 6,775 factors, so Alcaraz has a chance to realize a wholesome benefit with one other large week in Italy.

4) Sinner Prime Italian Hope: Will this be the yr for an Italian Renaissance on the Foro Italico? Jannik Sinner leads dwelling hopes. The final Italian to win the title in Rome was Adriano Panatta in 1976. Sinner has been in high type in 2023, reaching the semi-finals at Indian Wells, the ultimate in Miami and the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo. One other dwelling favorite, Lorenzo Musetti, defeated Djokovic in Monte-Carlo and pushed Stefanos Tsitsipas to a 3rd set within the Barcelona semi-finals.

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5) Tsitsipas Defending Finalist: Final yr in Rome, Tsitsipas received three three-setters en path to the ultimate on the Foro Italico. The Greek defeated a slew of powerful opponents — Grigor Dimitrov, Karen Khachanov, Sinner and Alexander Zverev — to achieve the ultimate and can attempt to go one step additional this yr to safe his third Masters 1000 crown. He has received two titles at this stage, triumphing in Monte-Carlo in 2021 and 2022.

6) Former Champ Murray: Former World No. 1 Andy Murray received the Rome title in 2016 and can be excessive on confidence after securing an ATP Challenger Tour 175 trophy in Aix-en-Provence final week. The Scot claimed his first Challenger trophy since 2005 in Binghamton and defeated World No. 17 Tommy Paul within the remaining. Murray is making his first look in Rome since 2017 and can play Italian Fabio Fognini within the first spherical.

7) Zverev’s Pleased Rome Recollections: Zverev claimed his first Masters 1000 title in Rome in 2017. Will this be the yr he provides one other? The previous World No. 2 has lengthy loved success within the Italian capital, the place he’s 16-5. The German additionally reached the Rome remaining in 2018 and can attempt to earn his twentieth ATP Tour title this week.

8) Extra Stars To Watch: There are many stars who could make a deep run in Rome, together with Monte-Carlo champion Andrey Rublev and World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev. World No. 4 Ruud has received 9 of his 10 titles on clay and is pursuing his first ATP Masters 1000 title. The Norwegian, who reached final yr’s Roland Garros remaining, has made the semi-finals in his previous two Rome appearances (2020 and 2022).

9) Gasquet’s Upcoming Milestone: Former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet will attempt to be a part of elite firm in Rome. The Frenchman is 2 wins from 600 tour-level victories in his profession. Gasquet can grow to be the fourth energetic participant to attain the feat, becoming a member of Rafael Nadal (1,068), Djokovic (1,048) and Murray (725). He’s already the all-time wins chief for Frenchmen. Gasquet will play Wu Yibing within the first spherical and if he advances, would face twenty fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo.

10) Mektic/Pavic Lead Doubles Draw: The 2-time defending Rome doubles champions are Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, who’re pursuing their second title of the season (Auckland). The highest seeds within the subject are Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, who’ve superior to no less than the quarter-finals of their previous six tournaments.

Singles stars Khachanov and Rublev, who’re thirteenth within the Pepperstone ATP Dwell Doubles Groups Rankings, will attempt to enter the dialog for a spot within the doubles subject on the Nitto ATP Finals with one other large week at a Masters 1000 occasion after capturing the title final week in Madrid.

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