Rome Masters: Novak Djokovic faces a tough draw as he looks to defend his title
The draw for the final Masters 1000 tournament before the French Open is out. For the first time since Indian Wells Masters, big four will be in action as they look for momentum heading into Paris.
Let us look at the draw in Rome.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s path to a fourth Rome Masters title isn’t an easy one. After a first round bye, he takes on Nicolas Almagro in the second round, Roberto Bautista Agut in the third before a potential clash with Kei Nishikori in the quarters.
The Japanese will open up against either Jiri Vesely or Ernests Gulbis before a potential blockbuster encounter against Nick Kyrgios or Feliciano Lopez in the third round.
Fresh off his victories in Munich and Madrid, Andy Murray will look to make it three on the trot. The Brit starts his campaign against either Jeremy Chardy or Lukas Rosol. David Goffin or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga await him in the third round. David Ferrer looks like his likely opponent in the quarters even though you cannot rule out Marin Cilic’s chances.
Stan Wawrinka, who didn’t set the clay court season ablaze with his performances so far will aim to make a mence in Rome. He faces either Juan Monaco or Dusan Lajovic in the second round. Gilles Simon or Dominic Thiem could be his third round opponent.
Rafael Nadal has dropped to No. 7 in the ATP rankings after failing to defend points in Madrid. He now has to defend 600 points in Rome as he reached the finals last year. It is not going to be easy for the Spaniard as he faces either Adrian Mannarino or Marsel Ilhan in the second round.
The 9-time French Open champion will be tested in the third round by the big serving American John Isner, who took a set off Nadal in Monte Carlo.
After a semifinal showing in Madrid, Tomas Berdych seems to be making all the right moves as he looks for his second Masters 1000 title. He will face the winner of the match between Matteo Donati and Santiago Giraldo in the second round. Fabio Fognini or Grigor Dimitrov could be his third round opponents.
Roger Federer lost to Kyrgios in his opening round encounter in Madrid. The Swiss will face the winner of Paolo Lorenzi or Pablo Cuevas in the second round. Kevin Anderson or Philipp Kohlschreiber will be his third round opponent.
All in all, fans are in for an exciting week of tennis at one of the beautiful venues in the world. It is the final preparation for players ahead of the French Open and whoever comes out on top in Rome will have the momentum going into Paris.