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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday May 8, 2023

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic will make his return to the red clay at Rome this week. Find out how his draw shapes up.

Photo Source: Getty

The men’s singles draw is set for this week’s Rome Masters, which is now a 96-player draw and a two-week event.

Tennis Express

See the full draw here:

Here are some of the key takeaways from Monday’s draw reveal…

Nole’s Back!

Novak Djokovic returns to the tour after skipping last week’s Madrid Open, and the six-time Rome champion will be hungry to get in the groove at a tournament that has been the source of so many positive moments over the course of his career.

Djokovic is just 2-2 on clay this spring, and has been bothered by an elbow issue, so all eyes will be on the top seed as he takes his place on the red clay at the Foro Italico.

Here’s how Djokovic’s draw shapes up, if seeds hold:

R1 – Bye
R2 – Luca Van Assche or Tomas Martin Etcheverry
R3 – [26] Dimitrov (or Wawrinka or Ivaskha)
R16 – [13] Norrie or [17] de Minaur
QF – [7] Rune or [10] Auger-Aliassime
SF – [4] Ruud or [8] Sinner
F – [2] Alcaraz

Alcaraz and Rune making debut

Carlos Alcaraz is guaranteed a return to the No.1 ranking if he just takes the court for his second-round match at Rome, but the Spaniard is hoping he can do a lot more than that.

Alcaraz, who owns a 58-12 lifetime record on clay (19-1 this year with three titles), can open up an extended lead over Djokovic in the rankings if he has a big performance. Djokovic, the defending champ is defending 1000 points, and Alcaraz is defending zero.

Here’s how Alcaraz can make his way to the final and a potential showdown with Djokovic for the title (if the seeds hold):

R1 – Bye
R2 – Ramos-Vinolas or Passaro
R3 – [32] Lehecka
R16 – [15] Coric or [20] Evans
QF – [5] Tsitsipas
SF – [6] Rublev or [9] Fritz or [14] Hurkacz
F – [1] Djokovic

Rising Dane Holger Rune is also making his main draw debut. The World No.7 is 8-2 on clay this season with a title at Munich. He will face a qualifier in his opening match, in the second round, after a bye.

Gasquet Milestone Looms

France’s Richard Gasquet is two wins shy of 600 as he enters this year’s draw. He can become the fourth active player with 600 wins if he can defeat Wu Yibing in the first round and follow it up with an upset of 24th-seeded Francisco Cerundolo in round two.

Murray and Fognini in the first round!

Fresh off a challenger title, and ranked 42 in the world, things are suddenly looking up for Andy Murray. The Scot is at his highest ranking since the summer of 2018 and he will look to continue the good vibes when he meets Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the first round.

The pair have split eight career meetings, with Fognini (ranked 130) holding the 2-1 advantage on clay.

Projected Quarter-Finals, if Seeds Hold

Here are the last eight projections, if seeds hold:


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