Novak Djokovic faces a challenging opening match in his return to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where he has previously won the title six times. The top seed will begin the season’s final clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event against either Luca Van Assche, a #NextGenATP Frenchman, or Tomas Martin Etcheverry, an in-form Argentine.
Djokovic was pushed to three sets by Van Assche in their recent encounter, which lasted for two hours and 39 minutes. Van Assche is the only teenager in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, and Djokovic will need to be at his best to overcome the rising star.
If Etcheverry is Djokovic‘s opponent, he will carry confidence from reaching his first two ATP Tour finals earlier this year, both on clay, in Santiago and Houston. The 23-year-old Argentine is a promising talent and will pose a significant challenge for Djokovic.
In the third round, the Serbian could potentially face Grigor Dimitrov, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion, or former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic will need to be fully focused and ready to take on any challenge if he hopes to add another title to his impressive resume at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.