here I am, after a couple of unforgettable days in Rome, for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia!
We know Rome is a city full of beauties, and the Foro Italico, where the tournament takes place, is no exception! So follow me for a stroll around the grounds and the courts of one of the most spectacular locations of the tennis tour!
Here’s Sarita in her first round match
The Bryans come out for an early practice
Flavia and Sveta playing doubles together
The Dolgo practicing before his match with Novak Djokovic
One of the first matches I followed entirely was the all-French clash between veteran Julien Benneteau and the tournament sensation Benoit Paire. It was an highly entertaining match: tons of talent, spectacular points and also a lot of arguing!!
Both Frenchies had their fair amount of complaining with chair umpire
Julien changing his shirt for the joy of the ladies watching!
Benoit checking on Bryan brothers during change of ends!
Then I headed to Court 5, where usually the top players practice:
And here’s Maria.
Then it was Roger’s time to practice! In his day off on Wednesday, he hit for half an hour with Argentinian Carlos Berlocq:
Roger looking sharp while practicing returns of serve
Fooling around with the double hander
Speaking with his physio Stephan Vivier
Another treat of the Foro Italico is that you can see the entrance of the gym where players train and stretch before going out on court!
Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani
Serena having fun spoiling her sister’s photos! (That shows how tired she is after a match!! Unstoppable Serena!!)
Thursday was really the perfect day for tennis-lovers, as all the top players were on court! (except Andy Murray who had been forced to withdraw for a back problem!!)
I wish I could split myself in two or three, to be able to watch as many matches (and practices) as possible!!
JJ taking on Li Na
The Dolgo showed his talent against Nole, in one of the most entertaining no-matches I’ve ever seen!
It was ladies’ turn on the Centrale, as Italian favourite Sara Errani took on Russian beauty Maria Kirilenko. It was a great match, with both players going to the net and mixing it up, before MaKiri was forced to withdraw for a physical issue.
Then Nadal and Gulbis stepped on court for another spectacular match!
Some intrepid Latvian fans
Gulbis’s signature forehand preparation
..and killer backhand
Rafa staying close to the baseline …
First set was a shock for everyone, I photographed the scoreboard because I feared no one would have believed me! Rafa eventually found a way to fight back and we all know how things turned out for him!
Petra vs Sam
Before the night session began, there was time for another trip to the practice courts…and look who I found…
Seeing these great champions practicing is a wonderful experience: without pressure, they’re really scary!!
Night session went as quickly as ever, because Maria and Roger both made a quick work of their opponents (Sloane and Gilles, respectively):
Maria is so powerful and seemed in great shape, the news of her withdrawal the following day came as a total surprise!
Sloane did a good job, notwithstanding the score! She has a bright future ahead!
Gilles had always been a tricky opponent for Roger, but not that night. The Swiss meant business and quickly had the job done 6-1 6-2!
I hope you enjoyed this photoblog and I made you feel like you were there too!
Arrivederci Roma! See you next year!!! ♥