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Who does Rafael Nadal face next at the 2024 Italian Open?


The 2024 Italian Open begins on Wednesday, 8 May, as the world’s best tennis players arrive at the at the Foro Italico Complex in Rome. It’s the 81st edition one of the most prestigious tournaments on the calendar, and with 1000 ATP Tour Masters points up for grabs, one veteran is returning to a tournament he has dominated over the years. 

Novak Djokovic may be the top seed and Daniil Medvedev the defending champion after beating Holger Rune in last year’s final, but record-breaking 10-time winner Rafael Nadal is back and begins in the first round, looking to claim an 11th crown and leave his mark on this tournament for possibly the final time. 

Although he enters the 2024 Italian Open ranked a lowly 305th in the world, Nadal will be confident of progressing deep into one of his statement tournaments, particularly with Spanish compatriot Carlos Alcaraz out injured.

Like with last week’s Madrid Open, Nadal and Canadian Denis Shapovalov will enter this year’s event with a protected ranking, restricted for competitors who have recently spent time out due to injury. And, you can follow his progress throughout the tournament alongside The Sporting News

MORE: Who is the world No.1 in men’s tennis? Updated ATP rankings

First up for Nadal at this year’s tournament is 24-year-old Belgian qualifier Zizou Bergs, whom he’ll take on in the Round of 128, and should he get past Bergs in the first round, Nadal faces a tough test against his next opponent: seventh seed and world number eight Hubert Hurkacz.

He is scheduled to play Bergs in his first-round match on Thursday, May 9.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry could be the Spaniard’s next challenger in the third round should he defeat Hurkacz, while 2023 finalist Holger Rune, unfortunately for Nadal, is also on this side of the draw. 

Nadal faces Bergs at the Foro Italico on Thursday, May 9 2024, and although the full rundown and schedule for day two of this year’s tournament is yet to be released.

As one of the poster boys for Spanish tennis, Nadal’s first round match will be one of the most anticipated clashes at this stage of this year’s Italian Open, and as such there’s plenty of coverage confirmed. 

Here’s a look at the following TV channels and live streams in the major territories:

If the Italian Open is not available to watch live in your location or if you’re traveling abroad, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs offer a secure and private online connection, allowing you to bypass geographical restrictions to access your favourite streaming services from any device anywhere in the world.

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Nadal’s storied career has seen him be victorious in almost every top-class professional tournament there is to win, but few come close to the amount of success he’s had in Rome over the years, winning 10 editions of the Italian Open between 2005 and 2021. 

In fact, Nadal has only won more ATP Tour Masters finals in Monte Carlo, with 11, and that adds to a further 14 grand slam wins at the French Open alone, both of which are also records. The 37-year-old has only ever lost twice in a Rome decider, in 2011 and 2014 — both to this year’s top seed and favourite Novak Djokovic. 

The Spaniard has won back-to-back Italian Open titles on three occasions, in 2009/10, 2012/13 and 2018/19, while his first Rome win back in 2005 began a three-year period of dominance as he collected the title in both 2006 and 2007 too. Can he repeat that kind of magic in 2024? Stay tuned with TSN to find out. 

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