Italian Open draw will be missing fan-favorite players

Top ranked men and women dealing with injuries will not compete in Rome this year

The Masters 1000 Italian Open will begin this week. It is second consecutive clay court tournament on the tennis calendar after the Madrid Open. A lot has been said and written about the tennis calendar; its length and quantity of tournaments scheduled back-to-back. For this reason, fans should not be surprised that highly ranked and popular players have withdrawn from the event dealing with injuries.

Roland Garros begins later this month, and these same players want to be as healthy as possible to compete in the year's second Grand Slam. It is a difficult balancing act for the players to maintain their points and ranking while healing and preserving their bodies.

It is worth noting that we do not know the status of the men's defending champion Daniil Medvedev. He was forced to retire from his quarterfinal match in Madrid with a groin/hip injury. Madrid Open semifinalist Jiri Lehecka also retired with a lower back injury. Both players are likely reviewing their health and recovery on a day-to-day basis and could decide to skip the Italian Open also.

Who has withdrawn from the Italian Open?

On the men's side, the headliners are Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. Sinner is dealing with a hip injury, and Alcaraz has a forearm injury. It is a crushing blow to the men's draw not to have the hometown favorite Sinner or the charismatic Alcaraz in the draw.

For the women, we will not see Jessica Pegula or Karolina Pliskova. Pegula skipped the Madrid Open after sustaining an injury in practice. Emma Raducanu's status is also up in the air. She withdrew from the Italian Open qualifying rounds. Raducanu will forever be immortalized as the player who went through qualifying to win the 2021 US Open. Some speculate that she may still play at the Italian Open but is anticipating a main draw wildcard allowing her to bypass the qualifying rounds.

Elena Rybakina is the defending champion on the women's side. Rybakina has been among the most outspoken players on the stacked tennis calendar. She is expected to play and defend her title., but after Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka played a thrilling Madrid Open final, the world's two best players will need a few days to recover before opening their Italian Open campaigns in the middle of the week.

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