Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal will take the court Wednesday against Jannik Sinner at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The 34-year-old has faced the #NextGenATP star just once before, beating him at Roland Garros last year in straight sets.
“I try my best every single day, doesn’t matter the opponent,” Nadal said. “Tomorrow I need to play well, of course. I know he’s playing well. I know he’s going to be excited about the match. So am I.”
Nadal and Sinner were also practice partners during the lead-up to the Australian Open. Sinner recently cracked the Top 20 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 in Miami and upsetting Andrey Rublev on his way to the Barcelona semi-finals.
“I think the past couple of weeks have been quite good,” Sinner said. “I have to say starting from Miami, then coming back on clay, I played actually the first week quite well in Monte-Carlo. So [that] gave me a little bit of confidence for Barcelona and I played some good matches there.”
Third seed Daniil Medvedev will face off against countryman Aslan Karatsev after rain cancelled their match on Tuesday. It will be their first ATP Head2Head meeting.
Karatsev is 20-6 this season while Medvedev has yet to find his footing on clay. After testing positive for COVID-19 in Monte-Carlo, he lost in the third round of Madrid. Karatsev is 7-3 on clay after a final run in Belgrade saw him take out World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
Dominic Thiem will open his Rome campaign against Marton Fucsovics. Thiem won their only meeting two years ago in Hamburg and enters the week on the heels of a semi-final appearance in Madrid. Fucsovics, a finalist in Rotterdam in March, is seeking his first clay-court win of the season.
Elsewhere, Madrid champion Alexander Zverev will take on qualifier Hugo Dellien and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will face 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic. Madrid finalist and home favorite Matteo Berrettini plays his second-round against John Millman and seventh seed Rublev will battle Jan-Lennard Struff.
[WATCH LIVE 1]
ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021
CENTER COURT start 10:00 am
 D. Thiem (AUT) vs M. Fucsovics (HUN)
WTA – S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) vs  A. Sabalenka (BLR)
Not Before 2.00PM
WTA –  S. Williams (USA) vs N. Podoroska (ARG)
 M. Berrettini (ITA) vs J. Millman (AUS)
Not Before 6:00 pm
J. Sinner (ITA) vs  R. Nadal (ESP)
GRAND STAND ARENA start 10:00 am
 R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs C. Garin (CHI)
[WC] G. Mager (ITA) vs L. Sonego (ITA)
A. Karatsev (RUS) vs  D. Medvedev (RUS)
WTA –  S. Kenin (USA) vs B. Krejcikova (CZE)
PIETRANGELI start 10:00 am
WTA –  A. Barty (AUS) vs [DA SR] Y. Shvedova (KAZ)
WTA – J. Pegula (USA) vs  N. Osaka (JPN)
 A. Zverev (GER) vs [Q] H. Dellien (BOL)
M. Cilic (CRO) vs  S. Tsitsipas (GRE)
 D. Shapovalov (CAN) vs [WC] S. Travaglia (ITA)
COURT 1 start 10:00 am
WTA –  K. Pliskova (CZE) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
WTA – [Q] V. Zvonareva (RUS) vs  P. Kvitova (CZE)
[Q] F. Delbonis (ARG) vs  D. Goffin (BEL)
[WC] L. Sonego (ITA) / A. Vavassori (ITA) vs A. Mannarino (FRA) / B. Paire (FRA)
COURT 4 start 10:00 am
[Q] C. Norrie (GBR) vs [Q] A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP)
J. Struff (GER) vs  A. Rublev (RUS)
 J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [WC] F. Fognini (ITA) / L. Musetti (ITA)
A. de Minaur (AUS) / J. Struff (GER) vs  I. Dodig (CRO) / F. Polasek (SVK)
M. Purcell (AUS) / L. Saville (AUS) vs [Alt] L. Broady (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR)
S. Gille (BEL) / J. Vliegen (BEL) vs  R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)
COURT 6 start 10:00 am
WTA – D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Klepac (SLO) vs  H. Chan (TPE) / L. Chan (TPE)
WTA – [ND] A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) / M. Niculescu (ROU) vs  G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Muhammad (USA)
[Alt] M. Arevalo (ESA) / M. Middelkoop (NED) vs D. Evans (GBR) / N. Skupski (GBR)
A. Bublik (KAZ) / C. Garin (CHI) vs  N. Mektic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO)
 M. Granollers (ESP) / H. Zeballos (ARG) vs A. Molteni (ARG) / D. Schwartzman (ARG)
M. Gonzalez (ARG) / F. Martin (FRA) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / B. McLachlan (JPN)