Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could meet in the semi-finals of the final Masters 1000 clay-court event of 2022 in Rome. The pair met in last year’s final, which Nadal won.
Djokovic however got his own back at Roland-Garros in the weeks that followed. Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev could play each other in the quarter-finals, which would be a repeat of the Madrid Open final.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could meet in the semi-finals of the upcoming Rome Open as the world’s top players mount their final preparations for the next Grand Slam of the year at Roland-Garros.
The action at the Foro Italico – the last Masters 1000 clay-court event of the year – represents a chance to gain some precious momentum before heading to Paris, with the main draw on the French dirt starting on May 22.
In the men’s draw in Rome, top seed Djokovic and third seed Nadal – who met in the final last year with Nadal victorious in three sets – have been drawn in the same half, and could meet in the last four.
However there are obstacles aplenty before then, with Nadal set to face the likes of Miami finalist Casper Ruud and Djokovic seeing Felix Auger-Aliassime, Stan Wawrinka and Diego Schwartzman blocking his path.
In the bottom half, all eyes will be on Spanish teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz, who – incredibly given all his success this term – has never even played at the Rome event before. He will be seeded seventh and in a repeat of the Madrid Open final, could meet second seed Alexander Zverev – but this time as early as the quarter-finals.
Monte Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas has one of the toughest draws on paper, with Grigor Dimitrov in wait in the last-32, and the likes of Karen Khachanov, Andrey Rublev and home hope Jannik Sinner potentially beyond that.
Britons Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans feature in the draw, with the former set to begin his campaign against Italian wildcard Luca Nardi, and Evans facing up against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The women’s event will feature 19 of the world’s top 20 by ranking and will be headed by world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.
Perhaps the most glamour match of the first round sees the clash of the former US Open champions, with Britain’s Emma Raducanu – who took the title so memorably at Flushing Meadows last year – and Bianca Andreescu – who did so in 2019 – set to meet for the first time.
The event’s second seed will be Paula Badosa, who could meet Leylah Fernandez and Jelena Ostapenko in her route through the draw.