The Italian Open forges ahead without its most famous Italian players

Three of the country's most popular players are not playing in Rome this week
Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

The Italian Open has been a prized jewel on the professional tennis calendar since 1930. Italian tennis players have tremendous pride playing in their home tournament, but in 2024, it seem as though the Italian Open could be known as the "Italian-less" Open.

Adriano Panatta was the last Italian men's singles player to win his home tournament in 1976; he followed that success with a runner-up finish in 1978. Jannik Sinner, the 2024 Australian Open champion, was viewed as the first Italian player who could potentially duplicate Panatta's success at the tournament. Fans have not yet emotionally recovered from his withdrawal with a hip injury revealed at last week's Madrid Open.

Three of the country's most famous players are not playing in this year's tournament. As if that is not bad enough, it is the trickling of sad news on the Italian tennis front that keeps dampening spirits on a daily basis.

Jannik Sinner's withdrawal was bad enough, but there was more bad news to come

Wednesday's revelation that Italian tennis superstar Camila Giorgi quietly retired earlier in the week was another disappointment. Giorgi, the former World No. 26, had not played since March's Miami Open, but this was more bad news about Italian tennis in the same week as the tournament.

Pieces of bad news tend to come in threes, and this was no exception. Fans were saddened to hear that 2021 Wimbledon finalist and former World No. 6 Matteo Berrettini withdrew from the event. Berrettini has dealt with so many setbacks and injuries in his career that people want to see him regain his 2021 confidence and form.

Of course, there are other Italians in the draws, but these are the three most famous Italian tennis players in recent years, and the trifecta of bad news about them is heartbreaking for fans.

Some would argue that the Italian men who are the defending Davis Cup champions have more stars that we do not yet know, and this could be their time to shine in Rome. That may be true, but it remains to be seen if they excel at the Italian Open this year.

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