Rotterdam draw: Jannik Sinner hopes history repeats itself as first opponent since Australian Open win confirmed
Jannik Sinner will play his first match as a Grand Slam champion at the Rotterdam Open next week and he will face the same opponent that he beat in his opening match at the Australian Open just under a month ago.
After opting to skip the Open Sud De France and Open 13 following his title run at the season-opening major at Melbourne Park in January, Sinner will return to action at the ATP 500 event in the Netherlands early next week.
And the Italian has been handed a couple of banana skins early on as he faces world No 63 Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round.
Sinner defeated the Dutch No 2 in the first round en route to winning the Australian Open, claiming a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory.
But Van De Zandschulp will be no pushover as he does have several top-10 wins over the likes of Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz.
The 22-year-old Sinner though is on a high following his brilliant run in Australia and he is looking to become the first player since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001 to win a title in their next ATP Tour event after winning their maiden Grand Slam.
READ MORE: Jannik Sinner out to end 23-year curse as he looks to achieve feat that eluded Djokovic, Nadal, Federer
If the world no 4 gets past the first round then he could face Gael Monfils in the second round while eighth seed Alexander Bublik could await in the quarter-final.
Bublik, fresh from winning the Open Sud De France, himself faces a difficult opener as he takes on Borna Coric while he could face the big-serving Milos Raonic in the second round.
Fourth seed Herbert Hurkacz headlines the bottom section of the top half and he faces rising star Jiri Lehecka first up with seventh seed Ugo Humbert a likely quarter-final opponent.
The second-seeded Rublev kicks off his campaign against a qualifier or a lucky loser or a player with a special exemption while he will most likely take on 2022 Rotterdam Open champion Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round with fifth seed Alex de Minaur a projected quarter-final opponent.
Third seed Holger Rune is also in the bottom half of the draw and he faces Russian Roman Safiullin in the first round while he could take on Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-final.
Daniil Medvedev is the defending Rotterdam champion, but he opted not to return to the Netherlands as he is still recovering after spending more than 24 hours on court during his run to the Australian Open final.
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