There’s no time to catch your breath. After an incredibly unusual finish to the US Open yesterday, this truncated tour rolls on with the Rome Masters which begins today.
The field is led by Rafael Nadal who seeks his 10th Rome title. For Nadal, it’s his first event since Mexico back in February just before the shutdown.
Novak Djokovic, who thought he’d be playing yesterday in New York, is now the top seed at the event he has won four times. But what will his state of mind be after the default eight days ago?
Djokovic and Nadal are locked at 35 Masters title apiece, most in the record books.
Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils, who both skipped the New York swing, are back. The two could meet in the third round with Djokovic awaiting in the quarters.
Italian big man Matteo Berrettini does his best work on hard courts, but the 24-year-old hopes to make a seamless transition to clay. He could get Cristian Garin in the third and then David Goffin in the quarters.
In the bottom half, a tricky third quarter could see home favorite Fabio Fognini facing off against Denis Shapovalov. Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas are in the other section, and favored to emerge.
Rafael Nadal’s first match will be against countryman and recent US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta. Nadal had months to train on the clay while Carreno Busta just days. Nadal could meet Milos Raonic in the third round, with Diego Schwartzman or Andrey Rublev in the quarters.
The French Open begins in less than two weeks, so for many players coming from New York, there’s not a lot of time to prepare.
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