Sun, 20 Sep 2020

The Italian Open tennis tournament will be played a week earlier than scheduled in Rome with the main draw from 14-21 September, organisers confirmed on Thursday.

This year's edition of the clay-court tournament had been scheduled to start at the Foro Italico on 11 May, but was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellation of the rescheduled Madrid Open, because of a fresh outbreak of coronavirus, has allowed the Italian tournament to take place a week earlier than anticipated.

It will now be played after the US Open from 31 August to 13 September, and before the French Open, which begins on 27 September.

"In the next few days it will be decided whether the men's qualification draw will be expanded to 64 players and in this case the matches will start on September 11," the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) said.

"Otherwise it will start on Saturday 12."

US Open semi-finalists will have a first-round bye to the tournament and will not play before 16 September at the earliest.

Tennis returned after a five-month break at the WTA Palermo event in Italy last week.

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