Why Italian Open Is a Better Preparation Tournament Than Madrid Open

Published 05/09/2021, 1:30 PM EDT
A general view as Karen Khachanov of Russia serves to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during day five of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 08, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


The tennis calendar includes a number of tournaments that take place throughout the year. The ATP/WTA 1000 events are considered top priority after the four Grand Slam events. There are nine such events that take place during the 12 months on the Tour. However, only prior to the French Open are three ATP 1000 events in Monte Carlo, followed by the Mutua Madrid Open and finally the Italian Open in Rome.

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The last two events include players from both the WTA and the ATP. Taking a deeper look into things, the Italian Open is considered the tournament ideal for preparations for the French Open. 

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 7, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Sergio Perez

French Open begins soon after the Italian Open

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Since Roland Garros begins a week after the Italian Open, players winning in Rome will be in better mind space and have the confidence required for clay. Secondly, due to the high altitude of Madrid, the balls move slightly faster. On the other hand, conditions in Rome are similar to those in Paris. 

Although the courts in Rome have a slight golden glow, the manner in which the balls travel along with the weather conditions is similar to those of Paris, making it identical to that of the French Open. Moreover, going back in history, the Madrid Open was inaugurated in 2002, whereas the Italian Open first began in 1930. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Speaking of tennis currently, the Madrid Open is on and in the women’s final Aryna Sabalenka beat the World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in three closely fought sets. It was her first title on clay.

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On the other hand, German tennis giant Alexander Zverev booked a spot in the final after knocking off Dominic Thiem. In the previous round, the German player had caused an upset after beating Rafael Nadal in his own backyard. He will face Italian player Matteo Berrettini in the final. 

Coming on to the Italian Open, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the defending champion. The tournament will also feature Rafael Nadal, who is the most successful player at the venue, winning nine times overall. 

The Italian Open will take place from the 9th of May and will wind up by the 16th of May. Star players like Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal have confirmed their presence. 

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Rohan Kollare

1104 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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