Calm set to return on red clay at Rome Masters

Updated: 14 May 2012 12:27 IST

Hysteria should die down quickly as players get back onto familiar red clay from Sunday, with holder Novak Djokovic leading the men's field at the Rome Masters.

Calm set to return on red clay at Rome Masters

Rome:

Hysteria should die down quickly as players get back onto familiar red clay from Sunday, with holder Novak Djokovic leading the men's field at the Rome Masters.


The world number one Serb blew a fuse this week in Madrid, complaining heatedly and repeatedly along with Rafael Nadal about the over-slippery "qualities" of the experimental blue clay courts which dominated all conversation during the week.

With Djokovic and equally irate Nadal tossing their tennis toys out of the pram in Madrid by vowing never to return as long as it is played on blue clay, order should be restored at the Foro Italico.

"I want to forget this week and move onto the real clay courts," said Djokovic, winner over Nadal at the 2011 edition in the Eternal City.

Djokovic takes top seeding in Rome, where the top eight seeds open with a bye. The week will mark the return of Andy Murray, who skipped Madrid as he cited a back niggle.

Trailing Djokovic will be five-time champion Nadal; between them, the pair have shared the title ever since 2005.

Madrid finalist Roger Federer is seeded third, ahead of Murray.

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Spain's David Ferrer, Federer's Madrid opponent Tomas Berdych and Janko Tipsarevic, winner over Djokovic in Madrid, round out the top eight.

On the women's side, number one Victoria Azarenka will head Maria Sharapova on the list, with the second-ranked Russian defending the title from last year but needing to recover form a Madrid quarter-final blowout against Serena Williams.

Poland's Agnieszska Radwanska moves up to third seed ahead of Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, with the women's top eight also given free passes into the second round.

Women's seeds

Victoria Azarenka (BLR x1)

Maria Sharapova (RUS x2)

Agnieszska Radwanska (POL x3)

Petra Kvitova (CZE x4)

Samantha Stosur (AUS x5)

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x6)

Marion Bartoli (FRA x7)

Li Na (CHN x8)

Serena Williams (USA x9)

Francesca Schiavone (ITA x10)

Sabine Lisicki (GER x11)

Angelique Kerber (GER x12)

Ana Ivanovic (SRB x13)

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x14)

Jelena Jankovic (SRB x15)

Maria Kirilenko (RUS x16)

Men's seeds

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1)

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2)

Roger Federer (SUI x3)

Andy Murray (GBR x4)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x5)

David Ferrer (ESP x6)

Tomas Berdych (CZE x7)

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB x8)

John Isner (USA x9)

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x10)

Gilles Simon (FRA x11)

Nicolas Almagro (ESP x12)

Gael Monfils (FRA x13)

Juan Monaco (ARG x14)

Feliciano Lopez (ESP x15)

Richard Gasquet (FRA x16)



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