Rome Masters tennis tournament

The 70th Rome Master tennis tournament, known officially as the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, takes place in Rome's Foro Italico from 11-19 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 has been the Rome singles champion six times from 2005 until last year – and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic who beat Nadal in the Rome final two years ago. They will be joined by Britain's Andy Murray and Switzerland's Roger Federer, who has been runner-up twice in recent years.

The top female players include defending champion Maria Sharapova from Russia – the Rome singles champion for the last two consecutive years; Victoria Azarenka from Belarus; as well as Italy’s Sara Errani who, along with Roberta Vinci, won last year’s women’s doubles final.

The event will be launched on 9 May with a liveset by British dj and singer Craig David, and for the next ten nights there will be live music and food at the Foro Italico’s Villaggio Vip.

The annual tournament is played on a clay surface. Last year saw the inauguration of the SuperTennis Arena – previously known as Court 10 – giving the Foro Italico a total of 11 courts: three for practice sessions and eight for singles and doubles matches.

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 or from TicketOne. However the much sought-after tickets for the final matches sold out four months ago. Details about the music line-up can be found on the Villagio Vip Facebook page.