Singles draw has been made for the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in 2014.
Novak will be back on the court in Rome after he’s been sidelined for three weeks due to wrist injury.
No.2 seed and two-time former titlist has a first-round BYE. He will open campaign against world no.41 Czech Radek Stepanek (9-1 H2H) who beat no.36-ranked Pablo Andujar (ESP) in three sets.
Novak’s potential opponents in the later stages of the tournament are:
3rd round: Tommy Robredo (ESP, 16), Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
Quarter-finals: David Ferrer (ESP, 5), Kei Nishikori (JPN, 10)
Semi-finals: Roger Federer (SUI, 4), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA, 11), Fabio Fognini (ITA, 13)
Finals: Rafael Nadal (ESP, 1), Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI, 3), Tomas Berdych (CZE, 6), Andy Murray (GBR, 7) ….
Djokovic conquered Rome in 2008 and 2011. The 26-year-old Belgrade native finished quarter-finalist last year. He suffered a 6-2, 5-7, 4-6 loss to Tomas Berdych.
It will be Novak’s eighth appearance in the capital of Italy. He has a 24-5 record.
The last of three Masters 1000 events contested on clay, which is also the final preparation before Roland Garros, is taking place at Foro Italico from May 11 to May 18.
Defending champion is world no.1 Spaniard Rafael Nadal.