2024 Rome Open Friday SCHEDULE and PREVIEW featuring Djokovic, Sabalenka, Fritz, Collins and Zverev

Tennis News
Friday, 10 May 2024 at 12:47
The Friday session at the Rome Open will feature the second round of both the men's and women's draws. Several top favorites of the tournament will debut at the Foro Italico, with defending champion Elena Rybakina and 6-times champion Novak Djokovic among the highlights.
The day is set to take place on Friday, May 10. Our preview looks ahead to some of the top ties and leading storylines ahead of Day Five at the Rome Open and which matches to look out for.

Djokovic begins his journey

The 24-times Grand Slam champion will play only his fourth tournament of the year and second on clay. Djokovic was eliminated in the semifinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters and then decided to withdraw from the Madrid Open. The world No. 1 said he arrives with confidence due to the rest and training time he took and will debut against Corentin Moutet.
Another contender making his debut is the third seed Alexander Zverev against Aleksandar Vukic. The German suffered early defeats in Monte-Carlo, Munich Open, and Madrid, but he remains one of the players who can show the best level on clay, and with the absence of Alcaraz and Sinner in Rome, he is one of the main candidates.
The Americans will also be in action. In the Grand Stand Arena, Sebastian Korda (24) will face local Flavio Cobolli, and then Taylor Fritz will face the winner of Dan Evans against Fabio Fognini. On one of the adjacent courts, Ben Shelton (12) will face Russian Pavel Kotov.

Sabalenka and Rybakina lead the WTA matches

The 2023 champion Elena Rybakina will play on the central court against Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. The Kazakh is the 4th seed and comes in great form despite her defeat last week against Sabalenka in the semifinals of Madrid. She has since withdrawn though due to illness. The Belarusian, who lost in the final against Swiatek, will face Katie Volynets in her debut.
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Rybakina won the title in 2023 
The 11th seed Jasmine Paolini is the highest-ranked Italian player, male or female, in the tournament, and on Friday, she will make her debut against the clay specialist Mayar Sherif. Paolini already won her first WTA 1000 in February in Dubai, and playing in front of her home crowd could make her a dangerous player in the tournament.
Other important women's matches include the 8th seed Ons Jabeur against former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and former Rome Open champion Elina Svitolina against the veteran local Sara Errani.

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