ATP Serbia Open draw: Novak Djokovic set for homecoming as he finds out path to possible glory

A smiling Novak Djokovic

World No 1 Novak Djokovic will feature in his first competitive even on home soil in nearly a decade this week as he will play in the revamped Serbia Open.

The 18-time Grand Slam winner has not played in any official tournaments in the country of his birth since lifting the Serbia Open title in 2011.

Initially launched in 2009, the ATP 250 clay-court event was held for four years with Djokovic winning the inaugural title and again two years later.

The last edition in its original guise was held in 2012 with Andreas Seppi defeating Benoit Paire in the final.

After a nine-year hiatus, tournament returns this week at the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade and the country’s biggest sports star Djokovic will be in action.

Having been stunned in the Monte-Carlo Masters round of 16 by Dan Evans, Djokovic has a bye in the first round and will face either compatriot Laslo Djere or Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero in his opening fixture.

Third seed Aslan Karatsev, whom Djokovic defeated in the semi-final of this year’s Australian Open, is the other danger man in the top half of the draw along with sixth seed Martin Fucsovics.

World No 10 Matteo Berrettini is the big name in the bottom half and he will face either fellow Italian Marco Cecchinato or Serbian Viktor Cecchinato in the second round.

Fourth seed Dusan Lajović, fifth seed Filip Krajinovic and seventh seed John Millman are also in the bottom section.

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