The third and final clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event kicks off Sunday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, with Frances Tiafoe, Marin Cilic and two Italian wild cards among those in action on Day 1.
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American Tiafoe will be aiming to capture his maiden win in Rome in what will be his third appearance at the tournament when he faces Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the opening match on Center Court.
Tiafoe currently holds a 7-3 record on the season on clay, having advanced to his first final of the year on the surface in Estoril. Meanwhile, Krajinovic will be targeting a second win of the season on the red dirt, after advancing to the second round on home soil in Belgrade.
Tiafoe and Krajinovic are locked in at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, with the Serbian winning their only previous clay meeting at Roland Garros in 2019.
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Two Italian wild cards will make their debuts in Rome, with Matteo Arnaldi facing Marin Cilic and Francesco Passaro taking on Cristian Garin.
Arnaldi is currently at a career-high No. 277 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, having reached one ATP Challenger Tour semi-final this season. The 21-year-old will face a difficult test against former World No. 3 Cilic, who reached the semi-finals in Rome in 2018.
The World No. 366 Passaro advanced to the championship match at a Challenger Tour event in San Remo last month and will take on five-time tour-level champ Garin in the second match on Center Court.
Garin is competing in the Italian capital for the third time, with his best result this season a run to the semi-finals in Houston.
South African Lloyd Harris and Aslan Karatsev round out the Day 1 action on Grand Stand Arena, with both players trying to find form. Karatsev triumphed in their only previous meeting in the Dubai final last season.