The second round continues on Wednesday International BNL of Italy, with 10 men’s singles matches scheduled in Rome. Three of those games will be played on center field, with the title defender Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev in the early action before the worldly evening showdown between Jannik Grešnik and Fabio Fognini. Stefanos Tsitsipas is also on slate and will face Grigor Dimitrov at the Grand Stand Arena.
 Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. John Isner (NOW)
Nadal has never lost consecutive matches on clay and sets his record 43-0 after losing on the surface of John Isner. The Spaniard is also 18-0 against the Americans on clay, only being pushed twice to the deciding set.
But both of those decisions were against Isner, who extended Nadal to five sets Roland Garros (2011) and three sets in Monte Carlo (2015). Nadal leads their ATP Head2Head 7-1, and Isner’s victory comes in 2017. Laver Cup. They also met in 2015 in Rome, Nadal won the match in a row, but they have not played since Beijing in 2017.
Ten-time champion in Rome, Nadal is in his Top 5 in his 800th week, 17 years after first breaking into that level in 2005. Isner is looking for his first win against a Top 5 player since winning Marin Čilić and Alexander Zverev on the way to the Miami 2018 title
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After losing in three sets in the quarterfinals of Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid – his first tournament to return after a six-week break due to injury – Nadal fell 5th place to 5th in the Pepperstone ATP rankings live because he is defending 1000 points from his title a year ago in Rome. This week must improve the Greek’s score to maintain his position in 4th place in the Pepperstone ATP rankings next week.
“Madrid had a positive week in a variety of ways,” Nadal said of the challenging tournament in which he saved four match points against David Goffin get to the fourth. “In other ways things could have been better. But I’m here to keep trying. It will be another opportunity for me to play well, to compete again against the best players in the world.
“I’m excited. Rome is a very special place for me.”
 Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. Sebastian Baez (ARG)
Zverev is trying to support his way to the final in Madrid with another deep run in Rome, where he was the 2017 champion. The five-time ATP Masters 1000 title winner – more than any active player outside the Big 4 – with Sebastian Baez.
“It was the first Masters 1000 I won, at just 20 years old, which was pretty spectacular for me,” Zverev said ahead of his opening match. “Since then, my career has kind of started. I was very happy at the time, but now we’re here in 2022 and I hope to be able to do it again.”
The third number of the world enjoyed a strong start to the year at the Masters 1000s, reaching the Miami quarter-finals and the Monte Carlo semi-finals before picking up four wins in Madrid.
Baez will play his second match against an opponent from the Top 10 after losing in four sets to Tsitsipas Australian Open second round. The world’s No. 1 junior won his first ATP Tour title last month in Estoril and enters Rome at the peak of his career of 37th place in the Pepperstone ATP rankings behind a 16-11 record of the season.
 Jannik Grešnik (ITA) vs. Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Both Italians impressed in the opening round, delighting the Roman audience with victories in all actions on the central field. Fognini denied it Dominic Thiem first win in return due to injury Monday night, 6-4, 7-6 (5), before Sinner fired 26 winners to pass Pedro Martinez on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, he will return to the stadium under the lights for his first ATP Head2Head meeting.
“I met him a little more at the Davis Cup,” Sinner said of Fognini. He gave me many, many things, some energy, because it wasn’t easy for me for the first time last year in Turin. It will certainly be difficult for me now, for him. It will be a full house. But I [will] just enjoy. I hope it will be a great match.
“I hope [the crowd support] they will be equal. Because it went down in history, especially here. And now I’m starting, so it’s a bit of a second generation. “
Fognini has 20-12 against fellow Italians, including 3-1 in Rome and 17-5 since July 2011. But Sinner is undefeated against his compatriots 3-0, last time he won Lorenzo Musetti in Antwerp last year.
Fognini will turn 35 in May and Sinner is more than 14 years older. The veteran praised the 20-year-old in his comments after Monday’s game, calling his compatriot “our future star on the ATP Tour”.
Best of all
Three men’s singles matches are scheduled for the Grand Stand Arena, including Tsitsipas against Dimitrov. Fourth-seeded Grk is 4-1 against Dimitrov and can tie with Alcaraz for the ATP Tour lead with his 28th win of the season. Tsitsipas has eliminated the 20th player in the world of Bulgarians in a row in each of the last two tournaments, in Barcelona and Madrid.
In the doubles game, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury will take over the replacement team to be determined while the Italian wild cards Luca Nardi and Lorenzo Sonego look to upset eighth holders and recent champions Barcelona and Munch Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies Germany.