Gentlemen, would you like an excuse to visit Rome? The Italian Open, also known as the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2018, offers the ideal opportunity. From 7 to 20 May, the most important Italian tennis competition is running at Foro Italico in Rome, with the pre-qualification over the first few days, and then the main sessions from 13 to 20 May. Players this year include Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev competing for the men’s singles trophy, and Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbiñe Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Venus Williams for the women’s singles title.
The history of the Italian Open runs back to 1930, when it was held at Tennis Club Milano, on Via Arimondi in Milan, moving to Foro Italico in Rome in 1935. It has been played there ever since, except for 1961 when it was held at the Sporting Club in Turin, and during the 1980s, when the women’s matches were held in Perugia and Taranto. The first time that an Italian player won the tournament was in 1933, when Emanuele Sertorio defeated French player André Martin-Legeay. The year after, the final was all-Italian, with Giovanni Palmieri winning against Giorgio de’ Stefani 6-3, 6-0, 7-5. After an interruption running from 1936 to 1949, the tournament recommenced, and saw the participation of some of the finest players of the 1950s: Jaroslav Drobný, Frank Sedgman, and, John Edward ‘Budge’ Patty. More recently, the tournament has seen the splendid performances by the ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal, whose seven Italian Open titles include 2006, when he defeated Roger Federer in a fifth-set tiebreak after saving two match points.
The first victorious female Italian player was Lucia Valerio, finalist in the first tournament held in 1930 when she was beaten by Spaniard De Alvarez, going on to win the title in 1931 in a final against American player Dorothy Andrus. Lucia Valerio was runner-up in three other Italian Opens, in 1932, 1934 and 1935.
The pre-qualifications currently being played comprise the winners of the BNL Open tournaments held in all the regions of Italy over the course of the last few months. All that was necessary to take part was to be a member of the Italian Tennis Federation FIT, and so many players were involved: 15,759. The winner of the men’s singles pre-qualifications will receive a wild card place in the draw for the Italian Open event. Another three wild cards will be assigned, one for the runner-up in the pre-qualifications, and two for the runner-up semi-finalists. The same procedure will be applied for the women’s tournament. The men’s doubles draw comprises two wild cards, the women’s doubles comprises three wild cards.
At Boggi Milano we are all proud of the perfect service that you find in our stores. To watch some perfect services on the stands at Foro Italico, we have created the ideal look for the occasion: a piece-dyed stretch cotton jacket over a crew-neck sweater in silk and linen, and a cotton shirt. A handy canvas bag is perfect for taking all that you need for a day on the stands. An outfit that assures perfect comfort, while also being trendy and sophisticated.
The art of tennis at the Italian Open
An attractive feature of this year’s Italian Open, the 75th edition, is that spectators can combine tennis and art. Visitors who have a ticket for the 2018 Italian Open will be entitled to free access – together with another person – to the Rome Museums System from 7 to 20 May, displaying their ticket and an identity document. The ‘Sistema Musei’ includes many museums both large and small, such as the Musei Capitolini, the Ara Pacis, Trajan’s Forum, the Museum of the Imperial Forum, the Napoleonic Museum, the Carlo Bilotti Museum, and many others.
For further information, see the website http://www.internazionalibnlditalia.com/