posted on May, 1 2004 @ 11:40 AM
ROME (AP) - American Andy Roddick, Russian Marat Safin and several other tennis players in Rome for the Italian Open were evacuated from their hotel
rooms early Saturday after a fire broke out, killing three people.
A few of the players had their rackets and other equipment damaged and nearly all of them had to rearrange their practice schedules, said Nicola
Arzani, the ATP Tour's director of communications.
None of the players was injured, but "they were really scared," he said.
The tournament starts Monday.
Arzani said the players were evacuated at about 5 a.m. and stood outside for several hours until being taken to the nearby Austrian Embassy. They were
later allowed back to the five-star Parco dei Principi hotel to retrieve belongings.
"A lot of people lost equipment," Arzani said. "Safin lost a lot, he couldn't practise today."
Arzani said he didn't know how many players were staying at the hotel since some were still arriving from other tournaments.
Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina and Max Mirnyi of Belarus were also among the evacuated players.
Mirnyi was seen covering himself with a blanket outside the hotel in the early morning cold, wearing only shorts.
One American and two Canadian guests were killed. Police took two American women in for questioning because the fire started in their room, but said
they were being treated as witnesses, not suspects.