The Italian Open (Tennis)
The Italian Open (Italian: Internazionali d’Italia; literally: Italy International), originally called the Italian International Championships, is a tennis tournament held in Rome, Italy. It is one of the most important clay tennis tournaments in the world with the men’s competition being an ATP Tour Masters 1000 event on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour, and the women’s competition being a Premier 5 event on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour. The two events were combined in 2011. The tournament is played on clay courts, currently during the second week of May. The event is also known as the “Rome Masters” for male edition, as well as sponsored name “Internazionali BNL d’Italia”. Rafael Nadal has won the men’s singles title a record nine times.
The Italian tennis championship was first held in 1930 in Milan at the Tennis Club and was initiated by Count Alberto Bonacossa. The singles events at the tournament were won by Bill Tilden and Lilí Álvarez. The championships were held in Milan until 1934. The next year, 1935, the event moved to the Foro Italico in Rome. No edition was held between 1936 and 1949. The competition resumed in 1950. In 1961 the tournament was held in Turin at the Sporting Club.
The Italian Open became “open” to professional players in 1969. Between 1970 and 1989 it was a premier tournament of the Grand Prix Tennis Tour and was part of the Grand Prix Super Series top tier events. In 1990 it became an ATP Championship Series Single Week tournament. In 1979 the women’s event was held two weeks before the men’s event. The women’s event was played in Perugia from 1980 though 1984 and in Taranto in 1985. No women’s event was held in 1986 and it moved back to Rome again in 1987 where it has remained.