'I played there with Rafael Nadal for a year and lost...', says former Top 10

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'I played there with Rafael Nadal for a year and lost...', says former Top 10

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, as well as Daniil Medvedev and all the other stars of the ATP circuit, including the four Azzurri in the top 30 of the ranking. The men's entry-list of the 78th edition of the International BNL of Italy, scheduled from 9 to 16 May in Rome, is a concentration of champions and will be released today.

At the top the 33-year-old Serbian, returned to sit on the world throne after his triumph in Melbourne in January 2020, who with his success last September at the Foro Italico has already entered his name in the roll of honor five times: in 2008, 2011 , 2014, 2015 and 2020, in addition to having reached the final in 2016 and 2017.

Together with Nole, one of the great awaited protagonists is obviously Rafael Nadal, number 3 in the ATP ranking and the most successful player on the "red" surface on which he won 60 titles (record) including 13 Roland Garros and 9 international trophies.

BNL of Italy (2019, 2018, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005). To challenge them all the best, starting from the Russian Daniil Medvedev, finalist at the Australian Open and winner of the last Nitto ATP Finals in London, the Austrian Dominic Thiem, champion of the last US Open, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, the German Alexander Zverev (champion of the 2017 edition and finalist the following year in Rome), the other Russian Andrey Rublev, the Argentine Diego Schwartzman, finalist of the last edition staged in September, and the "host" Matteo Berrettini.

Fabio Fognini recently gave his thoughts on his rivalry with Rafael Nadal, explaining why the Spaniard sometimes finds it difficult to subdue him.

Fabio Fognini comments on Rafael Nadal

"Rafa is Rafa and he could spend a whole day explaining what it means," Fabio Fognini said.

"I have had a career in which I have met the best in history. When I qualified for the second week of a Grand Slam I was already happy because I was playing Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. Sometimes Murray, sometimes Del Potro.

Those who come later will be lucky because in two, three, four years they will not have to compete with them." During the interview, Fabio Fognini pointed out how Rafael Nadal always plays on Court Philippe Chatrier (center court) because of his sensational record at Roland Garros.

"He plays (on) central because he has won a million times in Paris," Fognini said. "I played there with him for a year and lost in three hard sets. Hopefully I can play again because I always want to play with the best in the best scenarios for them. That would mean I'm in a good round."