Federer, Nadal Open New Centre Court Stadium

World No. 1 Roger Federer and four-time champion Rafael Nadal rubbed shoulders with former Italian greats Lea Pericoli and Nicola Pietrangeli during the inauguration ceremony of Rome's new 10,400-seater Centre Court prior to the start of play at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Tuesday.

"I want to thank everyone who made it possible to build an incredible stadium like this," said Nadal, who has a 22-1 record at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament. "I'm delighted to be here.

"It's a fantastic stadium and different from others because the audience [is] so close to the court. I am also happy that the tournament has been in this beautiful location, in respect of a great tradition."

Two-time runner-up Federer described the new court as "a beautiful stadium in a fascinating location."

Pericoli hosted the official ceremony at the Foro Italico sports complex, while Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, the under-secretary for president of the Sports Committee Rocco Crimi, the chairman of the Italian National Olympic Committee Gianni Petrucci and Angelo Binaghi, chairman of the Federazione Italiana Tennis, also attended the inauguration.

In 2006, the old centre court stadium was named after 1957 and 1961 titlist Pietrangeli.

Date: 28.04.2010, Source: ATP World Tour


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