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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday May 6, 2024

The path is set for Rafael Nadal in Rome, where the King of Clay will make his last run at raising the trophy at the prestigious Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Tennis Express

Ten-time champion Nadal, who boasts a 69-8 lifetime record at the Foro Italico, joins six-time champion Novak Djokovic (67-11 lifetime) in a men’s singles draw that will be without top Italian Jannik Sinner and top Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz due to injury.

Nadal is in the lower half of the draw, tucked into defending champion Daniil Medvedev’s quarter. It isn’t exactly clear how Medvedev will turn up this week in Rome. The 28-year-old suffered an injury in Madrid and was forced to pull out of his quarterfinal against Jiri Lehecka after a set.

Second-seeded Medvedev captured his first career clay court title in Rome last year, defeating Holger Rune in the final, 7-5, 7-5.

Since 2005, when Nadal won his first title, only three players not named Djokovic or Nadal have raised the trophy in Rome: Medvedev, Andy Murray (2016) and Alexander Zverev (2017).

Nadal has been drawn to face a qualifier in the first round, and if he advances he will next face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, the No.7 Seed.

Top-ranked and top-seeded Djokovic will face either Roman Safuillin or a qualifier in his second-round match, after a bye. Djokovic, just two wins shy of his 1100th ATP victory, has been drawn to face fifth-seeded Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals. If the seeds hold he would face No.3-seeded Zverev in the semifinals.

Nadal and Djokovic are participating in the same draw for the first time in well over a year, since the 2023 Australian Open.

Men’s singles action commences on Wednesday May 8 in Rome.