When Novak Djokovic returns to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, where he has won six titles, he will have a challenging tournament.
The top seed will face either Frenchman Luca Van Assche or in-form Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the opening round of the season's final clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event. The only other teenager in the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, 18-year-old Van Assche, forced Djokovic's most recent match into three sets. The Serbian had to fight through that contest for two hours and 39 minutes.
The 23-year-old Etcheverry will be confident after reaching his first two ATP Tour finals earlier this year if Djokovic is his opponent. Both of those runs were made on clay in Houston and Santiago. In the third round, Djokovic might face either the former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka or Grigor Dimitrov, the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion.