Rafael Nadal opens his campaign for a seventh Rome title against Fabio Fognini on Wednesday.
• The second round concludes on Wednesday at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia with 10 matches on the schedule. Leading the way on Centrale is the No. 2 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings and the six-time Rome champion taking on Italy’s No. 2 player.
• In the first men’s match on Centrale, No. 8 seed and top Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meets Jerzy Janowicz of Poland for the first time. Tsonga is 5-5 lifetime in Rome, reaching the quarter-finals in 2010 and last year. The 28-year-old comes in with a 21-7 match record on the season (7-2 on clay) and he captured his 10th career ATP World Tour title in Marseille in February. He has played well in ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, reaching the quarter-finals or better in three of the first five, while compiling a 10-4 record. Janowicz made a successful debut Monday by saving all 11 break points in his 75 62 win over Santiago Giraldo. The 22-year-old Pole is 11-9 on the season and No. 24 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He closed last season by reaching the final at ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Ferrer). This season his best result is a quarter-final in Marseille. He is 2-5 lifetime vs. Top 10 opponents.
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• In the next match on, World No. 2 (No. 3 seed) Andy Murray brings a 2-0 head-to-head against Spaniard Marcel Granollers. Murray, who celebrates his 26th birthday today, won in three sets in the first round of Barcelona in 2006 and in straight sets in the second round of the Australian Open in ’09. Murray enters with a 22-4 match record on the season (3-2 on clay) and last week he advanced to the quarter-finals at ATP Masters 1000 Madrid (l. to Berdych). The Scot is 12-3 in ATP Masters 1000 play this season. Granollers is 8-11 this year and his best result is the quarter-finals in Sydney in January. The 26-year-old Spaniard is 3-18 lifetime against Top 10 opponents (1-5 on clay).
• In the evening session, No. 2 Italian Fabio Fognini squares off for the first time against No. 5 seed and six-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal, who is coming off his ATP World Tour-best fifth title of the season on Sunday in Madrid (d. Wawrinka). Fognini beat countryman Andreas Seppi in the first round and he’s trying to reach the third round here for the first time in six attempts. The 25-year-old Italian is 3-22 lifetime against Top 10 opponents (2-5 this year). Nadal enters with a 31-2 match record (26-2 on clay) this season and he’s reached the final in all seven tournaments he’s played. Two years ago he also reached seven finals in a row (3-4 record). If Nadal repeats his title here, he will move to No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings next week.
• There are three matches on Supertennis Arena, with the first men’s match Mikhail Youzhny of Russia against Gilles Simon of France. Youzhny leads the head-to-head series 7-2 but Simon has won the past two meetings in 2011. In the next match on, No. 16 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy meet for the third time (tied 1-1). In the final match on, Viktor Troicki of Serbia and Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis, a semi-finalist here in 2010, play each other for the first time.
• On Pietrangeli, Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine and No. 15 seed Stanislas Wawrinka meet for the third time (tied 1-1). Wawrinka has won 10 of his past 11 matches and is No. 10 in this week’s Emirates ATP Rankings. In the next match, No. 4 David Ferrer takes on countryman Fernando Verdasco for the 16th time. Ferrer leads the rivaly 8-7, winning the past four meetings. This is the ninth year in the past 10 they are playing each other (except 2006).