Tennis’ emperors are in Rome

Henry

Rome celebrated its 2,777th birthday last month and the “Eternal City” has seen many historical figures come and go.

From Julius Caesar and his unprecedented ambition to the reform of Constantine the Great and Michelangelo’s masterful work in the Vatican City.

More recently, the city and its residents also have direct access to the best clay court tennis player the world has ever seen.

Rafael Nadal has already held up the Italian Open silverware on the courts of the Foro Italico ten times.

And he can be seen again in the Italian capital this year, probably for the last time.

The 37-year-old Spaniard is finding his feet again on the tennis court after injuries kept him away from the game for more than a year.

He made his official return in Barcelona, ​​advancing to the fourth round of the Madrid Open.

“I am excited to play in Rome. It’s a tournament that has provided many unforgettable moments,” said Nadal.

“This is my third ATP tournament in a row and it is very good news for me. It’s a playing performance that I haven’t been able to experience for some time.”

This winner of 22 Grand Slam titles plays today in his opening match of the Italian Open against Belgium’s Zizou Bergs.

“There were some difficult moments on my way back, but overall I am very satisfied. A month ago I would have thought it was an unlikely dream to play in Barcelona, ​​Madrid and now in Rome. Things are happening.”

Novak is also ready for action again

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has indicated that he feels fresh and fresh in the run-up to the tennis spectacle in Rome.

The world’s leading player was last in action in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Open and, on top of that, he has not been able to win a tournament this year.

“I had enough time to rest and to prepare adequately. I am very satisfied with my work of the last two weeks and I am excited to hit in Rome,” said Djokovic.

Years ago, Emperor Augustus boasted about his positive influence on Rome’s architecture: “Rome was a city of bricks and I transformed it into a city of marble.”

Well, then one can say in the same breath that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also made world tennis a bigger spectacle.

Results:

Sofia Kenin beat Lucia Bronzetti 6-3 and 6-2

Naomi Osaka beat Clara Burel 7-6 and 6-1

Mayar Sherif beat Petra Martic 6-2 and 6-2

Lesia Tsurenko beat Donna Vekic 6-2, 3-6 and 7-6

Aleksandar Vukic beat Diego Schwarzman 6-2 and 6-2

Thiago Monteiro beat Gael Monfils 6-2 and 7-5

Luciano Darderi beat Denis Shapovalov 6-7, 6-3 and 7-6

Yoshihito Nishioka beat Sebastian Ofner 6-3, 2-6 and 7-6.