December 4, 2021

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Feast or famine for Foro Italico crowds

The crowds at the Foro Italico this week for the Italian Open have been huge. But they’re not everywhere.

Here are a few snapshots of the crowds around the grounds for various matches today.

If they appear sparse for Sharapova, and Berdych, it’s because the Grandstand (once upon a time called the “SuperTennis Arena”) is on a separate ticket. Fans with Centrale tickets or grounds passes can go anywhere.

That partially explains the standing-room only crowd waiting for Flavia Pennetta Wednesday evening (beyond her being, well, the Italian darling Flavia Pennetta) and the comparatively sparse group out on the Grandstand to watch the very popular Maria Sharapova.

But the dropoff after Roger Federer’s loss, to the Serena Williams – Andrea Petkovic match was pretty marked.

The mass exodus after the Rafael Nadal match, leaving Jelena Jankovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova to play before chilled family and friends with a start around 11 p.m., was pretty understandable considering the three-hour, 18-minute length of that one.

 (Screengrabs from tennistv.com)