Internazionali BNL d'Italia
ATP World Tour: Rome Masters 1000
Defending champions: Rafael Nadal, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Lots of exciting chances on the women's side of the rankings with this last 1000 point week before the French Open. For starters, no matter what happens Caroline Wozniaki will remain the No. 1 women's player in the world. She only has 80 points to defend so she could make a big move even higher up this week.
The biggest movers can be the players currently ranked No. 5, 6 and 7 - Francesca Schiavone, Li Na and Sam Stosur, respectively. Reigning French Open champion Schiavone has 140 points to defend this week in Rome. If she wins or is a finalist, Schiavone will move up ahead of No. 4 Victoria Azarenka who is not playing Rome. Additionally, if Li runs the table and Schiavone doesn't go further than the semifinals, Li will take Schivone's place. If Stosur at least makes the final and Li fails to reach the semifinals, then the Aussie will take Li's place. The women are bound for some shakeups heading into the French. Two things are certain: Wozniacki is No. 1 and Clijsters is No. 2.
The men's side has the chance for a lot of point changes, but not as much movement. First, this Rafael Nadal/Novak Djokovic story is shaping up to be quite the battle - and it's great for men's tennis to have a new rivalry. Here is the biggest piece of news: Djokovic CAN become No. 1. But, in order for that to happen, Nadal would have to win only one match and Djokovic would have to win the title. That said, the French Open will definitely be a major factor in where these two go the rest of the season.
Roger Federer is not going anywhere, so he'll keep the No. 3 ranking. The No. 4 - 7 players could all see movement. For instance, Andy Murray (4) can't go up, but can go down if Robin Soderling (5) becomes a finalist in Rome and Murray loses before third round. Similarly, David Ferrer (6) can't move up, but can move down if Tomas Berdych (7) makes it to the finals and Ferrer loses before the quarterfinals.
Should be a fun week!
About Richard: A life-long tennis fan, Richard offers thoughts on rankings for both the ATP and WTA. He runs a tennis blog, The Let Tennis, and is the author of two books, including his latest, Anything is Possible. You can visit his website at http://richarddedor.com.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]