After a week filled with polemics and surprising upsets, Djokovic, Nadal and co are happy to leave Madrid’s blue clay for the red clay of the Foro Italico in Rome.

Check out some pics and video of the draw ceremony which took place at one of Rome’s most popular tourist sites, the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna). Attending the ceremony: former Italian players Nicola Pietrangeli, Lea Pericoli, but also Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Ana Ivanovic, Andy Murray and Fabio Fognini.

Nicola Pietrangeli:

Rome Masters draw ceremony: Nicola Pietrangeli

Rome Masters draw ceremony: Nicola Pietrangeli

Francesca Schiavone:

Rome Masters draw ceremony: Francesca Schiavone

Rome Masters draw ceremony: Francesca Schiavone

Flavia Pennetta:

Rome Masters draw ceremony: Flavia Pennetta

Thanks a lot to Mauro, webmaster of STE Fans, dedicated to the one and only Stefan Edberg.

Manuel Santana, Andres Gimeno, Manuel Orantes, Sergi Bruguera, Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero: all of those spanish players won at least one Grand Slam tournament.
But without a doubt 8 times Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal tops them all. Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, Olympics, Davis Cup, he won it all.
The only one trophy missing is the US Open, a major won by two fellow countrymen: Manuel Santana in 1965 and Manuel Orantes in 1975.

Manuel Santana, now director of Madrid Masters Series, was the first Spaniard to win a Grand Slam title: in 1961 he defeated Nicola Pietrangeli in 5 sets to capture his first Roland Garros title. Three years later the two met again in final and Manolo needed only 4 sets to regain the trophy.

In 1965, in a game totally dominated by Americans and Australians, Santana became the first European to win the US title since Henri Cochet in 1928! He defeated South African Cliff Drysdale in final, one of the first players in the game to use the two-handed backhand.

The ever charming Santana became a national hero in Spain one year later when he won Wimbledon against doubles specialist Dennis Ralston.

Manuel Santana - Wimbledon 1966

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