Scouting Report

Scouting Report: Will defending champion Medvedev and Nadal stop Djokovic in Rome?

An in-depth summary of what every fan should know about next week

May 06, 2024

Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

By Staff

The ATP Tour heads to Rome for the third and final clay-court ATP Masters 1000 of the 2024 season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

World No. 1 and six-time champion in Rome Novak Djokovic and defending champion Daniil Medvedev are the top two seeds at the Foro Italico, where the main draw will be played from Wednesday, May 8 to Sunday, May 19. May. Ten-time champion Rafael Nadal will also compete in what will be his final appearance in Rome. reviews the 10 highlights of the European clay court season in the Italian capital.

1) Djokovic returns: The No. 1 PIF ATP Ranking, Djokovic will compete for the first time since Monte Carlo. The Serbian boasts a 67-11 record in Rome, where he has lifted the trophy six times and enjoys a solid relationship with the Italian fans. Djokovc will start his tournament against Roman Safiullin or a qualifier.

2) Nadal says ‘Goodbye’: As Nadal prepares for his final appearance at an event where he is a ten-time champion, could there be one last showdown at the Lexus ATP Head2Head in Rome with his great rival Djokovic? They have met in six finals at the Foro Italico, with four victories for Nadal and two for Djokovic. For that to happen, both would have to reach the final again.

After reaching the fourth round last week in Madrid, it will be another emotional farewell for Nadal, regardless of how far he goes in Italy. The left-hander makes his debut against a qualifier and the seventh seed, Hubert Hurkacz, is lurking in the second round.

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3) Medvedev defends the crown: A year ago, Medvedev spoke candidly about how surprised he was to win an ATP Masters 1000 on clay after taking the trophy in Rome. It was his first tour title on a surface he has made clear is not his favourite, and the World No. 4 is aiming for another big win, especially after some promising displays on his way to the quarter-finals last week. in Madrid.

4) Rublev on: Rublev, seeded fourth, recovered spectacularly from four consecutive defeats and won his second Masters 1000 in Madrid. The 26-year-old, who has won six of his 16 clay court tour titles, hopes to continue in that vein with a strong performance in Rome. He has a 5-4 record in the Italian capital, with his best performance being a quarterfinal in 2021.

5) Ruud wants more: Norwegian star Casper Ruud is ranked third in the PIF ATP Live Race to Turin and has shown some of his best tennis early in the clay court season. The 25-year-old reached the Monte Carlo final before winning the biggest trophy of his career in Barcelona. After falling in the fourth round in Madrid, he is eager to bounce back at the Foro Italico, where he has reached the semi-finals in his last three appearances.

6) Italian hopes: Although World No. 2 Sinner will miss the Internazionali BNL d’Italia due to injury, there are plenty of local favorites looking to make their mark. Leading the way will be the 26th seed, Lorenzo Musetti, fresh from the final of the ATP Challenger Tour in Cagliari. The 22-year-old burst onto the scene by qualifying for Rome and reaching the third round of the main draw in 2020.

Other Italians to watch are Matteo Arnaldi, reigning Córdoba champion Luciano Darderi and former Top 10 Matteo Berrettini, who reached the quarter-finals in Rome in 2020. All of the wild cards are also Italian, led by Fabio Fognini.

7) Tsitsipas asks for track in Rome: Stefanos Tsitsipas has won 10 of his last 13 matches in Rome, reaching the quarter-finals, finals and semi-finals in the last three years. On each occasion he has lost against one of the three best players in the world: Djokovic twice and Medvedev a year ago. The Greek has also played well on clay this year, emerging victorious in Monte Carlo. Will the sixth seed win for the first time in Italy?

8) Rune, Defending Finalist: A year ago, the Dane Holger Rune reached a memorable final at the Foro Italico. In his second participation in the tournament, he defeated Djokovic in the quarterfinals and Ruud in the semifinals to earn the right to play for the title. After reaching the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and the semi-finals in Munich this year, he will look to put up even more of a fight in Italy. The 10th seed will face either Daniel Altmaier or local favorite Luca Nardi.

9) The #NextGenATP in action: Arthur Fils, 31st seed, takes first place in the PIF ATP Live Race to Jeddah. He will continue fighting for a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF when he faces Marton Fucsovics or a second-round qualifier. Jakub Mensik will debut against Yannick Hanfmann and, if he reaches the third round, he could face world No. 1 Djokovic. Alex Michelsen will face Pavel Kotov.

10) What to see in doubles: Doubles returns to its usual format in Rome after undergoing a test with innovative rules in Madrid. The defending champions are Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski. Don’t lose sight of Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, co-No. 1 in the world in the PIF ATP Doubles Ranking and champions in 2020 at the Foro Italico.


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