Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are ready for their comebacks at the Rome Masters after both withdrew from Madrid last week.
The duo were expected to challenge for the title that they have both won in the past, but it was world no.1 Rafael Nadal who defended the crown on Sunday, in his home city, as the Spaniard won in the final against an injured Kei Nishikori.
Nadal will be favourite once again to win on the Italian capital's dirt, having done so seven times in the past.
However, Federer, who has never won in Rome, will be back after a short spell of self-imposed paternity leave.
The 32-year-old withdrew without hitting a ball in Madrid to be with his wife Mirka, who then gave birth to the couples second set of twins the next day.
He had been expected to miss a few weeks as he settled-in with his growing family. However, he was keen to return to the court after a short break.
After thanking fans for their support following the births of Leo and Lenny on twitter, Federer then posted: “Oh and btw ciao tutti, I just arrived in bella Italia! Looking forward to Rome #mostamazingcity.”
After receiving a bye into round-two, tennis' most successful ever athlete will start-up against Jeremy Chardy after the Frenchman's straight-sets 6-4 6-4 victory over Robin Haase.
Djokovic also pulled-out of the action in Spain before playing after a recurrence of the arm injury that affected him in a defeat to Federer at the Monte Carlo Masters semi-final.
However, fans of the Serbian star will be delighted that he can return in Italy to dispel any concerns over his fitness ahead of the upcoming French Open.
"Right now I feel much more confident at the state of my wrist and I know that I'm ready much more to play a match than I was one week ago," Djokovic said on his comeback.
"It's a wiser decision if you try to heal it 100 percent than 50 percent and compromise the next weeks.
"The second time that it comes back it becomes a chronic injury, which you definitely don't want to have. From now on I will be extra careful about my wrist."
The 26-year-old is no stranger to success on the Italian dirt, having won the tournament back in 2008 and 2011. He has never fallen before the quarter-final stage.
Veteran Czech star Radek Stepanek will be the first to face the refreshed world no.2, he beat Pablo Andujar at the first hurdle.
Both Federer and Djokovic will be glad at their returns as this is the last Masters 1000 event before the action at Roland Garros kicks-off in just 12 days.
Again - the 'King of Clay' - Nadal will be the man to beat, he has only ever lost at the only clay Grand Slam.
Federer - winner of a record 17 Grand Slams - took advantage of the Spaniard's shock round-four defeat in 2009 against Robin Soderling to complete his career slam. Djokovic has never won in Paris, losing in the 2012 final is the closest he has come to completing his own career haul.
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