Italian Open is a marquee tune-up tournament leading to the French Open and it has always attrached top players to go and fine tune their game. There must be more than its convenient position in the calendar that brings back the players year after year. Next year, the two weeks separate men's and women's event will be combined into one of the few joint mega tournaments. Here's a couple pictures of this magnificent city.
And then there's the new stadium, it doesn't have the flashes and flares of other famous European new-age stadiums, but this one is true to Rome, it has the air of a Colissium where every single spectator hovers over the two fighters down center fighting for their lives until one beat the other into submission. This is the atmosphere that tennis needs, out with the nice and I'll try again next time, it needs the urgency of life and death that make something matters, it's time people realize that a battle is going on, and I wouldn't mind if the girls or guys throw in a grunt here and there, it'll only be fitting.