ATP Italian Open: Tasty draw as Novak Djokovic-Dan Evans; Rafael Nadal-Alexander Zverev on collision courses
Novak Djokovic and Dan Evans could be set for a rematch in the second round of the Italian Open while Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev are projected to meet in the quarter-final.
World No 1 Djokovic has not featured on the ATP Tour since he was stunned by British No 1 Evans in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Masters, but he could get a chance to exact revenge in Rome.
The 18-time Grand Slam winner, who has a bye into the second round, will face either British No 1 Evans or American Taylor Fritz in his opening encounter.
World No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas is the other danger man in Section 1 and the Greek, who won the Monte-Carlo Masters, takes on either former US Open champion Marin Cilic or Alexander Bublik first up while Matteo Berrettini, who will face Zverev in the Madrid Open final, could be a third round opponent.
Section 2 is led by world No 4 and reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who faces Guido Pella or Marton Fucsovics in the second round. He is projected to meet seventh seed Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final, but 10th seed Roberto Augusta Agut is also in the section.
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The bottom half of the draw is led by world No 2 Nadal and Zverev finding themselves in Section 4.
The duo met in the quarter-final of this week’s Madrid Open with Zverev beating the 20-time Grand Slam winner in straight sets. The German went on to defeat Thiem in the semi-final and will take on Berrettini in Sunday’s final.
Nadal, though, will face either rising star Jannik Sinner or Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the second round while Zverev will be up against either Adrian Mannarino or a qualifier.
The winner of that section is projected to meet world No 3 Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final, although the Russian is yet to win a match in Rome.
Medvedev, who lost in the third round in Madrid, has a tough opener as he will face either compatriot Aslan Karatsev or Miomr Kecmanovic in the second round.
Eighth seed Diego Schwartzman is a likely quarter-final opponent, but Felix Auger-Aliassime, Karen Khachanov and David Goffin are also potential last-eight opponents.
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