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Italian Open 2024

Novak Djokovic’s projected path to Italian Open 2024 final

Published at :May 8, 2024 at 7:07 AM
Modified at :May 8, 2024 at 7:07 AM
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(Courtesy : X/@DjokerNole)

Shashank Tripathi

After Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic has won the most Italian Open titles with six.

Novak Djokovic has arrived in Rome. Earlier this year at the 2024 Australian Open, Jannik Sinner broke Djokovic’s 33-match unbeaten streak to reach the final. He later lost against Italy’s Luca Nardi in the round of 32 of the Indian Wells Masters. The Serb withdrew from the Miami Open as he wanted to balance his private and professional schedules.

He started his clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters, where he suffered a disappointing loss against eventual runner-up Casper Ruud. Then he decided to withdraw from the ATP 1000 Madrid Open to prepare for the Italian Open and the upcoming Roland Garros.

Apart from the tournaments, the ATP World No. 1 has played only 15 matches this season, winning 11. Thus, the 24-time Grand Slam winner would look forward to gaining momentum ahead of the 2024 French Open, where he will be defending his title.

Hence, without further ado, let’s take a look at the projected path of Novak Djokovic to the final of the 2024 Italian Open.

Novak Djokovic’s projected path to Italian Open 2024 final

Round of 64: Roman Safiullin

Roman Safiullin faced Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters, last month. The Russian failed to give the Serb a tough time in Monaco as he lost 6-1, 6-2. The same result is expected to unfold if Roman Safiullin faces the 24-time Grand Slam winner at the Italian Open.

Round of 32: Jakub Menšík

Alejandro Tabilo, seeded 29th, can be Novak Djokovic’s second opponent in Rome. However, he’s more likely to lock horns against the Czech Republic’s Jakub Menšík, who stunned Grigor Dimitrov in the second round of the Madrid Open, last week. The 18-year-old is currently ranked 65 by the ATP; however, he has a zeal to win big matches. His match against Djokovic would be a worthy contest but he’s unlikely to succeed.

Round of 16: Karen Khachanov or Francisco Cerundolo

Francisco Cerundolo and Karen Khachanov are expected to have a huge battle for a spot in the round of 16. The two have faced each other four times on the tour and two of their meetings took place earlier this year. However, Cerundolo is still winless against Khachanov but the Argentine is in decent form as he has defeated Alexander Zverev and Tommy Paul recently.

Quarter-final: Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud and Novak Djokovic share an interesting rivalry. The two have faced each other six times, of which four were on clay. In addition to that, out of the six, five of their meeting have taken place in the final or the semifinals of a competition. Ruud has won only once against Djokovic and his win came in the semifinals of the 2024 Monte Carlo Masters.

They also faced each other in the final of the 2023 French Open, where their initial set lasted more than 80 minutes and Ruud lost 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5. However, the Norwegian has already played 39 matches in 2024 compared to 15 of Djokovic, which can play a deciding factor in their next potential meeting.

Semi-final: Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev has been quite dangerous on clay. However, this season, he’s yet to find his right form. The German reached the semifinals of the Miami Open, where he lost against Grigor Dimitrov. Nevertheless, he has the potential to regain his form on the top stage and give a stellar performance at the Italian Open 2024.

Final: Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev, or Rafael Nadal

Tennis fans would hope for a fiery battle between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the final of the Italian Open 2024. Realistically, it’s highly unlikely to happen as the two can only face each other if they make it to the final. The two faced each other for the last time at the 2022 Roland Garros, where Nadal got the better of Novak Djokovic.

On the other side, defending champion Daniil Medvedev, if he recovers well, will also try his best to win another title in Rome. Nevertheless, health would be Medvedev’s top priority but in the game of tennis, nothing can be predicted precisely. Apart from the two, Andrey Rublev has also emerged as a worthy candidate to challenge Djokovic for the full stakes in Rome.

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