Novak Djokovic will face compatriot in Serbian Open second round

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic will face a fellow Serb in the second round of his home event, with the returning Dominic Thiem in his half of the draw for the ATP event in Belgrade.

As the first seed at the ATP 250 event, Djokovic will enjoy a bye into the second round.

He is drawn to take on the winner of the all Serbian clash between Hamad Medjedovic and Laslo Djere.

Djokovic lost his comeback match at the Monte Carlo Masters, denying him more time on court to get back to his best.

He starts as the obvious favourite for the Serbian Open title with the ATP 500 event in Barcelona drawing most of the big names.

That said there are some serious threats to concern Djokovic in his quarter of the draw.

Potential quarterfinal opponents for Djokovic include Thiem and Richard Gasquet.

Gasquet will have to get past seventh seeded Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in the opening round though before entertaining thoughts of a blockbuster.

Thiem will need to beat Aussie John Millman to secure his passage to the next round.

Second seed Andrey Rublev will face either Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen or a qualifier in the round of 16.

Three of the top four seeds are Russian players with Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev enjoying a bye through the first round in Belgrade.

Rublev might fight another hometown hero in Dusan Lajovic in the last eight.

Karatsev will face the winner of the match between wildcard Alejandro Tabilo and Germany’s Oscar Otte.

Khachanov will take on either Mikael Ymer or a qualifer in his opening match of the Serbian Open.

Houston semi-finalist Cristian Garin faces a tricky opening round match against Holger Rune of Denmark.

Sixth seed Fabio Fognini faces Italian compatriot Marco Cecchinato in his first match of the tournament.

Serbian Filip Krajinovic rounds out the seeds but that hasn’t bought him an easy passage to the second round.

Krajinovic will have to get past David Goffin to progress to the Round of 16.

Kazakh wildcard Mikhail Kukushkin will face Slovakia’s Aljaz Bedene in a Serbian Open first round encounter.

The Serbian Open gets underway in Belgrade on 18 April 2022.

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