Top Players Head to Italian Open
It’s been an interesting week in Madrid, and to keep the momentum going on the clay courts, we now we head into the third Masters clay court tournament in four weeks – the Italian Open. This tournament has a special place in my heart because as a 10-year-old I lived in Italy for a couple of years, and I remember my dad and mom going to watch Yannick Noah play Miloslav Mecir in the 1985 Final. That final was won by Yannick Noah 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6. My mom is a tennis fanatic and often comments on what a great match it was between two incredibly talented and gracious champions.
There’s been more amazing finals in Rome through the years, and another one that comes to my mind was Alberto Mancini beating Andre Agassi in 1989. It was an incredible final, with Mancini winning in five long sets, 6-3, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1.
The Italian Open is played at the Foro Italico. The show courts are known for having some incredibly picturesque surroundings. One of my favorite benefits of following professional tennis players on Instagram is that one gets to see a lot of snaps and videos of the surroundings. Ya’ll should check some out. Rome is truly special.
But enough nostalgia around this incredible tournament. At the end of the day, beautiful surroundings or not, this is a Masters level event with some big money and points on the line. All the top players have descended upon Rome and will showcase throughout the week. The storylines will revolve around Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem on the men’s side. On the women’s side we’ll see Svitolina, Kvitova, Osaka, and Halep having the pressure to go deep in the draw.
We are now a merely two weeks away from the French Open, and the favorites are establishing themselves. The Italian Open will be an opportunity for the big guns on both the men’s and women’s side to hone their games before they head to Paris.