Novak Djokovic could cross Rafael Nadal only in the Rome final

The Serbian champion has an overall easy draw: a romantic challenge with Nadal can only happen in the final

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Novak Djokovic could cross Rafael Nadal only in the Rome final
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

The paths of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could cross at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, but only in a possible final.

After a bye in the first round as for all 32 seeded players, Djokovic awaits the winner of the match between a qualifier and the Russian player Roman Safiullin in the second round in Rome.

In the third round, the highest seed in his segment of the draw is the Chilean Alejandro Tabilo, number 29 in the seeding. A player who can already represent an important first test to evaluate Djokovic's form on clay.

Although it should be analyzed that in the area there is also the Czech Jakub Mensik who will challenge Yannick Hanfmann in the first round.
In the round of 16, the two highest seeds in Novak Djokovic's draw zone are the Argentine Francisco Cerundolo, seeded number 20, and the Russian Karen Khachanov, seeded number 16.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

The Serbian's possible quarter-final opponent could then be Casper Ruud, number 5 in the draw, who was drawn in the first quarter. The other seeded players in this area of the draw who could face Djokovic are Ben Shelton, Adrian Mannarino and Jordan Thompson.

In the eventual semi-final, the Serbian player's half of the draw includes Alexander Zverev, Taylor Fritz and Grigor Dimitrov. Only in the final could Djokovic face one of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurcacz, Rafael Nadal (included in the scoreboard in the Polish player's zone) and Daniil Medvedev, who are all in the bottom half of the draw.

Nole comes back to play in Roma

After a first part of the season marked by a performance decidedly below expectations, Novak Djokovic arrives in Rome to try to revive the disappointing first months of 2024.

Especially since after Rome there is the most intense and interesting part of the season, which includes the Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Paris Olympic tournament (again on the courts of the Roland Garros Stadium). And there is obviously a lot of anticipation to see the ATP world number 1, who missed the recent Masters 1000 in Madrid, on the court again.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal