The ATP 1000 Rome Masters draw is out. The ATP Rome Masters will be much more than an ATP event. It will be the first one for Rafael Nadal after the lockdown. The Spaniard is the defending champion at the Italian Open.
The Italian courts will be the first tour at the clay season. The tournament will feature Rafa and Novak with the former as the first seed and the latter in the lower draw as the second seed.
After cruising through the draw, Novak and Rafa will play the Finals of ATP 1000 Rome Masters
The major contenders will be the 2020 Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic. After a rather humiliating exit at the Flushing Meadows, the Serb will try to avenge at the clay in Rome. The world no.1 will be playing the second round only. He has a Bye in the first.
The second round will be against qualifier but the Serb will have a tough draw post that. The next clashes will be with Felix Auger Aliassime, Stan Wawrinka, or Gael Monfils and then David Goffin.
On the other hand, Rafa will have to face fellow Spaniard in the second round, Pablo Carreno Busta. If Rafa will move ahead he is likely to meet Milos Raonic. The quarter-finals will be against Diego Schwartzman or Andrey Rublev. In the semi-finals, the Spaniard will have Stefanos Tsitsipas or Fabio Fognini.
Making through the draw, Nadal will meet old rival Novak Djokovic. For the Serb this will be another chance to claim a 1000 masters title and lead the ATP 1000 masters table with maximum title.
Nadal, Dimitrov, Paire, Wawrinka and Monfils back on tour
While the majority of the players have now been in the tour for a month. However, for Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov, Benoit Paire, Gael Monfils and Milos Raonic this is their first match as the tour resumes.
The duo Nadal and Dimitrov have been practicing together at Rafa Nadal Academy. They used the time while others were at hard courts to get their rhythm on clay. Dimitrov last played the Adria Cup t the same surface before testing positive for Covid-19.
Benoit Paire had to leave New York after testing positive in the early days of the slam. He gave a walkover at the Cincinnati Open. The Frenchman has recently recovered from the virus as he steps on the clay tour.
Gael Monfils is another man from France. He willingly skipped the US Open as he was reluctant to travel to America. He will be seen competing for a long halt.
Stan Wawrinka is also set to play at a big scale. He has been at the Prague Challenger and won the title there. He skipped the Amercan slam and prepared for the major clay event. He recently shared a tweet practicing with Fabio Fognini.
A closer look at the ATP 1000 Rome Masters Upper and Lower draw
Rafael Nadal will be clearly dominating the upper draw. However with the rise of next-gen players recently, they cannot be sidelined. Roger has a tough draw. Pablo Carreno Busta will be giving a tough match to fellow Spaniard. Busta has been excelled post the tour resumed. He was in the semi-finals at the US Open before crashing out.
The other players in the draw are Milos Raonic. After a successful run at Cincinnati, he lost early in the slam. The Canadian showed a high performance earlier and shall seek the same at Italian Open.
Diego Swartzman has a semi-finalist at the 2019 French Open. He also defeated world Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open before being defeated by Djokovic in three-set
Andrey Rublev was in the qaurters of the slam at Flushing Meadows. He lost to russian counterpart Daniil Medvedev after a long three setter match. The young man from Russia will try to be as impressive on the clay as he has no notable wins on the surafc.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is called the Greek God. He is a young 22 year old but has made big in tennis already. Tsitsipas won his 5th ATP title this year and will try to win a Masters 1000 in Rome too.
Fabio Fognini is very experienced and will have an upper hand against the young players in his draw. He has been hitting with Stan Wawrinka lately and he performed well on the clay surface. He will enjoy the benefit of experience against the young players.
Kei Nishikori is back after testing positive for corona virus. His performance will be uncertain as he may find it hard to grind on the clay. Nishikori willl still try to get the ryhtm and be ready for the French slam.
Matteo Berrettini defeated Alexander Zverev last year at the Italian Open. He has victories against top players and will give tough competition to the players in his draw.
He will have to play Felix Auger Aliassime. The young lad has made some headline recently with his phenomenal performance at the US Open beating Andy Murray.
The lower draw has Stan Wawrinka, a player who just claimed a title on clay at Prague. He has been regularly hitting on the Clay and will not have any trouble.
However, David Goffin reached the US Open quarters before losing to Denis Shapovalov. He again has the Canadian with him in the lower draw.