The full entry list for the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, has confirmed its entry list for this year, with a strong field set to take part.
The tournament has 1000 ranking points available for the winner and will be played on outdoor clay. A total of 56 players will eventually be in the main draw, with 44 players automatically entered into the main stage of the tournament.
Former Champions And Finalists In Action
The only defending champions returning are Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. No other player has won the title since 2005 (Nadal has seven titles, Djokovic has four) and Djokovic will be looking to defend his title as he looks to win the French Open for the first time, whilst Nadal will be looking to gain some confidence after a disappointing clay court season in 2015.
Roger Federer will be looking for his maiden title in the Italian capital. The Swiss number one has lost in the final an incredible five times, the latest time being last year, and he'll be looking to win one of the few Masters 1000 title that has eluded him in the past. Fellow Swiss star Stan Wawrinka, who reached the final in 2008, will also be looking for a good run as he prepares to defend his title at Roland Garros.
David Ferrer lost in the final in 2010 and the veteran Spaniard could well be dangerous on his strongest surface, whilst Tommy Haas, who reached the final back in 2002, has used his protected ranking to enter the draw as he attempts to come back from injury.
More Big Names In Action
Several more big names are in action, with the most high profile being Andy Murray. The Brit has had some success on clay in the past couple of seasons, and will be a serious contender for the title in Rome.
Other top ten players in the draw include Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori. Neither will be a massive favorite for the title, but both are capable of making a run at the tournament. Marin Cilic is also entered in the draw and could be dangerous, whilst Frenchmen Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils, Benoit Paire, Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could all be a threat.
In-form players that could be dangerous include David Goffin, Roberto Bautista Agut and Milos Raonic. Clay is arguably the strongest surface for Goffin, whilst only Djokovic has amassed more points on the tour this season than Raonic.
The crowd will also have at least one player to cheer on, withe Fabio Fognini set to be in action. Furthermore, Juan Martin Del Potro will continue his comeback on what can be a strong surface for him.
Rising Stars Looking To Break Through
Several rising stars of the ATP tour are set to be action, and it will be interesting to see how they fare in Rome.
One of the biggest stories of the year has been Dominic Thiem. The Austrian has won four of his five career title on clay, including a title in Argentina this year, and the world number 14 will be looking to continue his fine start to the year over the clay court season.
Australians Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic have also had a decent start to the season and will be looking to secure a decent seeding for the second Grand Slam of year, targeting Rome as a big opportunity for points, and players such as Grigor Dimitrov and Jack Sock will be looking to start progressing up the rankings as they look to make their mark.
Dangerous Players In The Draw
Whilst it will probably be the seeded players who make the latter stages of the draw, there are several players who could cause some issues as unseeded players.
One of the more dangerous players will be Pablo Cuevas. The Uruguayan is in the top eight for the Road To London and has won two titles in clay this season; he will certainly be a tricky opponent in Rome. Argentines Leonardo Mayer and Guido Pella could also be tricky to face as could Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.
Americans In Action
Some American stars, as well as Sock, are set to be in action.
American number one John Isner is set to play in Rome, as is the in-form Sam Querrey. Neither of the two have had much success on clay in the past, but have weapons to potentially start a run in the Italian capital.
Steve Johnson, who has had a solid season so far, is also set to be in action.