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Three of the best male tennis players ever to play the game plus four of the world’s Top 5-ranked women will be in action on Wednesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will get their Italian Open campaigns underway against Joao Sousa and Jeremy Chardy respectively in the day session on Court Centrale while world No. 1 Novak Djokovic will headline the night session when he takes on rising star Denis Shapovalov.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the current world No. 1, will meet Dominika Cibulkova, who she defeated in the first round at Madrid last week, in the third match on Court Centrale while Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova will feature on Grandstand Court.
Madrid champion Bertens will be looking to continue her rich vein of form against lucky loser Amanda Anisimova in the opening match with Kvitova taking on Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in the fourth match on the same court.
Two-time runner-up Simona Halep will be hoping she can record her first victory over Marketa Vondrousova when the two face off in the second match on Court Pietrangeli. The Czech lefthander defeated Halep at Indian Wells earlier this year on her way to a quarter-final showing in the Californian desert.
Also playing on Wednesday are No. 5 seed Dominic Thiem, former Roland Garros winner Garbine Muguruza and Madrid finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas. Twenty-year-old Tsitsipas is not the only Greek player in action, his countrywoman Maria Sakkari, a qualifier here, will play her second round match against No. 14 seed Anett Kontaveit under the lights on Court Centrale following the conclusion of the Djokovic-Shapovalov clash.
The home fans will also have players to support as No. 10 seed Fabio Fognini, a straight sets winner over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Monday evening, takes on Radu Albot and 17-year-old Italian wildcard Jannik Sinner, who stunned Steve Johnson in the first round, faces Tsitsipas.