Rome Open Set To Get A Roof By 2019 Following Olympic Bid Fiasco - UBITENNIS
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Rome Open Set To Get A Roof By 2019 Following Olympic Bid Fiasco

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The Foro Italico (image via http://www.internazionalibnlditalia.com)

The Foro Italico (image via http://www.internazionalibnlditalia.com)

After the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) formally ended their bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games on Monday, officials has pledged to continue the development of the Rome Open.

 

Speaking to the media in a press conference, the head of CONI is confident that the main court of the Foro Italico will have a roof constructed by 2019 in a bid to keep the Masters 1000 event in the city. Giovanni Malago set out his plans after this year’s Rome Open, which is a combined ATP/WTA event, was heavily disrupted by the rain.

“In the Park of the Foro Italico Park, it is planned for a roof on Center court by 2019 otherwise (the tournament will) risk disqualification by the ATP due to changes to the criteria of Masters 1000 and it could go elsewhere.” Malago said.

Malago’s pledge comes hours after the Italian Olympic committee suffered embarrassment when they was forced to withdraw their candidacy for the 2024 Olympic Games. Once a strong contender to host the four-year event, the bid failed due to opposition from the newly elected mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi. Raggi has argued that the city must tackle their financial deficit first before staging a major event. A viewpoint that has been heavily criticised by pro 2024 supporters who argued it could have generated investment for the city.

In light of losing their Olympic battle, Italian officials will continue with their planned development of facilities in the area, one of which is the Fioro Italiano. Next year the Grandstand arena at the venue will have the seating capacity increased from 4000 to 5,550 seats.

‘Since we will not host the 2024 Olympics, it’s clear that we will have to review our commitments and strategies in terms of development and of sports installation. One of them will be the roof on the Central Court by 2019,‘ Malago said when asked about future plans for the city.

The Italian Open was founded in 1930 and has been hosted annually in Rome since 1987. Since 2009 the clay court event has been classified as a Masters tournament for the men and a Premier tournament for the women with a combined prize money pool of almost $7 million. Andy Murray and Serena Williams are the current champions.

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VIDEO: Novak Djokovic To Lock Horns With Nadal In Rome

Ubitennis looks ahead to the men’s final at this year’s Italian Open.

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Rafa Nadal - Roma 2019 (foto via Twitter, @InteBNLdItalia)

Sunday will see the 54th instalment of one of the greatest rivalries of the Open Era at the Italian Masters in Rome.

 

Novak Djokovic will take on Rafael Nadal in the men’s final. Second seed Nadal is yet to drop a set in the tournament this week and brushed aside Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4, in his semi-final match. Meanwhile, Djokovic has endured a much tougher route. The world No.1 is currently on a eight-match winning streak. In his semi-final match, he ousted Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3.

Whoever prevails at the Foro Italico will become the most decorated Masters 1000 champion in the Open Era. At present both Nadal and Djokovic have 33 Masters titles each.

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Novak Djokovic Keeps Faith Ahead Of Schwartzman Semi-Final In Rome

Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith as he looks forward to a semi-final match with Diego Schwartzman in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

World number one Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith ahead of his Rome semi-final against Diego Schwartzman. 

 

The four-time champion survived a massive test late last night as he battled past Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 in just over three hours.

After saving two match points the Serb proved to be too clinical as he clinched victory at about 1am in the morning on Saturday.

In a short interview after his match Djokovic said that keeping faith was important in his quarter-final victory, I never lost faith I could come back to the match,” Djokovic explained.

“One break of serve, mini break in the tiebreak when he was 6-4, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. I’m just really pleased to overcome.”

In addition to keeping mentally strong, Djokovic also praised Del Potro’s performance as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, “He was playing really good. I tried my best obviously all the way till the end,” Djokovic said.

I lost probably the positioning of the court over him. Towards the end of the first he just started hitting the ball really well from both corners. Also backhand side, backhand down the line. He was playing really well. Gave me a lot of trouble.”

Next up for Djokovic is Diego Schwartzman who is into his first ever masters 1000 semi-final and is yet to drop a set this week.

The Serb leads the head-to-head 2-0 although their last match went to five sets at Roland Garros a couple of years ago. It should be a fascinating match which takes place at 8pm local time as Djokovic looks to keep the faith heading into the French Open.

 

 

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Roger Federer Withdraws From Rome Quarters Due To Right Leg Injury

Roger Federer has withdrawn from his Rome quarter-final with a right leg injury after playing two matches yesterday.

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Roger Federer (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Roger Federer has withdrawn from his Rome quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a right leg injury. 

 

The 20-time grand slam champion spent a combined three hours and 51 minutes on court yesterday after wins over Joao Sousa and Borna Coric.

It was the Coric match in particular that was though as he saved two match points to edge the Croatian 9-7 in the last set tiebreak.

However we now know that has taken its toll on the 37 year-old, who has had to pull out of his anticipated quarter-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a right leg injury.

Despite the withdrawal, Federer takes four good clay-court wins heading into Roland Garros, an event he will play for the first time since 2015.

As a result of the third seed’s withdrawal, Stefanos Tsitsipas now gets a walkover into the semi-finals where he will play either Fernando Verdasco or Rafael Nadal.

Of course Tsitsipas managed to beat Nadal in the Madrid semi-finals last week, as he looks to continue his momentum towards the French Open.

The other quarter-finals see Diego Schwartzman take on Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic faces Juan Martin Del Potro.

 

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