Rome Masters tennis tournament

World's top tennis players come to Rome

The 71st edition of the Rome Master tennis tournament, known officially as the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, takes place in Rome's Foro Italico from 11-18 May and features the world's greatest tennis stars.

The top-ranking male players taking part in the prestigious sporting event are Spain’s Rafal Nadal – who secured his seventh title as Rome singles champion last year – and Switzerland's Roger Federer who lost out to Nadal in last year's Rome final. Also competing is Britain's Andy Murray and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic who beat Nadal in the Rome final three years ago.

The top female players include America's Venus Williams and her sister, defending champion Serena, who beat Victoria Azarenka from Belarus in the Rome final last year. The top Italian players include Francesca Schiavone as well as Sara Errani and Roberto Vinci who lost last year's women's doubles to Hsieh Su-wei from Taiwan and Peng Shuai from China.

The annual tournament is played on a clay surface and this year three new courts will be inaugurated, providing players with a total of 14: eight for singles and doubles matches, and the other six for practice sessions.

Initially known as the Italian Open, the event was played in Milan from its inception in 1930 before being moved to its present venue in 1934, and becoming an open event in 1969.

Tickets can be bought directly at the central ticket stand at the Foro Italico or online from the official website. However organisers are reporting record ticket sales this year, with most of the later matches already sold out. As per tradition, around 70 tickets will go on sale at the Foro Italico ticket office on the mornings of the much-sought after final two days of the tournament, 17 and 18 May.

For full details see website.