Djokovic faces tough start as Rome Open draw is revealed

The six-time champion Novak Djokovic will open his campaign at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia with a tough match against either Frenchman Luca Van Assche or Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry. The draw for the season’s final clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event has been released, and it includes top players like Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Internazionali BNL d’Italia draw was revealed yesterday, and it seems like Novak Djokovic will have a tough opening test in his return to action, where he is a six-time champion.The top seed will face #NextGenATP Frenchman Luca Van Assche or in-form Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the season’s last clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event.

Djokovic, who enters the tournament with injury concerns and less confidence than players like Carlos Alcaraz, is expected to face tough competition in his quarter of the draw. Seventh seed Holger Rune, who defeated Djokovic in the final of last year’s Rolex Paris Masters, could be a potential quarter-final opponent for the Serbian. Meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov or former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka could be waiting for him in the third round.

Alcaraz will retake the #1 in the ranking after Rome

In the opposite half of the draw, second seed Carlos Alcaraz will look to build on his back-to-back titles in Barcelona and Madrid. He will open his competition against either Francesco Passaro of Italy or Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain. Alcaraz’s first ATP Tour victory came against Ramos-Vinolas in a thrilling three-hour and 37-minute match at the Rio Open in 2020. Even if he loses in the first round, the Murcian will reclaim the top rank in the ATP Ranking after the tournament.

Daniil Medvedev, the third seed, will try to record his finest clay-court Masters 1000 run yet. Medvedev, a four-time champion this year, will look to get off to a good start either Ugo Humbert of the ATP Challenger Tour 175 in Cagliari or Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland. Meanwhile, Jannik Sinner, the field’s top home hope, will face either Spaniard Jaume Munar or a qualifier in the second round.

Murray and Fognini set to face off in a must-watch first-round match

One of the most anticipated first-round matches will be between former World No. 1 Andy Murray and home favourite Fabio Fognini. They have split their eight previous ATP Head2Head clashes and last met in 2019 in Shanghai, where Fognini emerged victorious after a final-set tie-break.

Djokovic vs. Rune, Ruud-Sinner, Rublev-Medvedev, and Tsitsipas-Alcaraz are among the Quarter-Finals scheduled. The Rome Open, the final leg on the road to Roland Garros in terms of a Masters 1000 tournament, will be held from May 10 to 21.

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