The world’s biggest stars travel to Rome this week for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the season’s third and final clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event. The tournament was expanded to a 12-day event this year.

Carlos Alcaraz brings plenty of momentum to the Foro Italico after emerging victorious in Barcelona and Madrid, but World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and other stars in the draw will try to halt the Spaniard’s hot streak. looks at 10 things to watch in Rome.

1) Alcaraz Making Debut: The hottest player on the circuit will make his Rome debut. Alcaraz has competed in Italy before, having won the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan in 2021, but this will be his first ATP Tour action in the country outside of the event. The Spaniard is fresh off successful title defences in Barcelona and Madrid and will try to secure his fifth Masters 1000 title.

2) Djokovic Back In Action: Six-time Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion Djokovic returns to action for the first time since Banja Luka. The Serbian has suffered early losses in each of his two clay-court tournaments this year (2-2 record), but will be confident in Rome, where he is set for his 17th consecutive appearance and where he has never lost before the quarter-finals. Last year, he captured his 1,000th tour-level victory at the event in the semi-finals against Casper Ruud.

3) No. 1 Update: Djokovic will compete at the Foro Italico as the No. 1 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, but he will not leave the tournament in top spot. Alcaraz will return to World No. 1 by playing his first match in Rome. As defending champion, Djokovic can at best remain on 6,775 points, so Alcaraz has an opportunity to gain a healthy advantage with another big week in Italy.

4) Sinner Top Italian Hope: Will this be the year for an Italian Renaissance at the Foro Italico? Jannik Sinner leads home hopes. The last Italian to win the title in Rome was Adriano Panatta in 1976. Sinner has been in top form in 2023, reaching the semi-finals at Indian Wells, the final in Miami and the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo. Another home favourite, Lorenzo Musetti, defeated Djokovic in Monte-Carlo and pushed Stefanos Tsitsipas to a third set in the Barcelona semi-finals.


5) Tsitsipas Defending Finalist: Last year in Rome, Tsitsipas won three three-setters en route to the final at the Foro Italico. The Greek defeated a slew of tough competitors — Grigor Dimitrov, Karen Khachanov, Sinner and Alexander Zverev — to reach the final and will try to go one step further this year to secure his third Masters 1000 crown. He has won two titles at this level, triumphing in Monte-Carlo in 2021 and 2022.

6) Former Champ Murray: Former World No. 1 Andy Murray won the Rome title in 2016 and will be high on confidence after securing an ATP Challenger Tour 175 trophy in Aix-en-Provence last week. The Scot claimed his first Challenger trophy since 2005 in Binghamton and defeated World No. 17 Tommy Paul in the final. Murray is making his first appearance in Rome since 2017 and will play Italian Fabio Fognini in the first round.

7) Zverev’s Happy Rome Memories: Zverev claimed his first Masters 1000 title in Rome in 2017. Will this be the year he adds another? The former World No. 2 has long enjoyed success in the Italian capital, where he is 16-5. The German also reached the Rome final in 2018 and will try to earn his 20th ATP Tour title this week.

8) More Stars To Watch: There are plenty of stars who can make a deep run in Rome, including Monte-Carlo champion Andrey Rublev and World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev. World No. 4 Ruud has won nine of his 10 titles on clay and is pursuing his first ATP Masters 1000 title. The Norwegian, who reached last year’s Roland Garros final, has made the semi-finals in his past two Rome appearances (2020 and 2022).

9) Gasquet’s Upcoming Milestone: Former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet will try to join elite company in Rome. The Frenchman is two wins from 600 tour-level victories in his career. Gasquet can become the fourth active player to achieve the feat, joining Rafael Nadal (1,068), Djokovic (1,048) and Murray (725). He is already the all-time wins leader for Frenchmen. Gasquet will play Wu Yibing in the first round and if he advances, would face 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo.

10) Mektic/Pavic Lead Doubles Draw: The two-time defending Rome doubles champions are Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, who are pursuing their second title of the season (Auckland). The top seeds in the field are Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, who have advanced to at least the quarter-finals of their past six tournaments.

Singles stars Khachanov and Rublev, who are 13th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings, will try to enter the conversation for a place in the doubles field at the Nitto ATP Finals with another big week at a Masters 1000 event after capturing the title last week in Madrid.