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Two-time champion Novak Djokovic could face an early test in his opening match at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Djokovic To Face Early Monte-Carlo Test, Nadal In Opposite Halves

Nadal, Medvedev in bottom half of draw

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have contested three championship matches at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and, following the draw ceremony on Friday, the pair could meet in another championship match this year.

Top seed Djokovic and third seed Nadal were placed in opposite halves of the ATP Masters 1000 draw, making it possible for the pair to meet in a fourth final at the Monte-Carlo Country Club (2009, ’12-‘13). Djokovic, a two-time Monte-Carlo champion (2013, ’15), may not be able to face Nadal until final Sunday, but he will face an immediate test in the Principality.

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In his first appearance since his ninth title run at the Australian Open, Djokovic will meet Miami Open presented by Itau runner-up Jannik Sinner or 2017 finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening match. The Serbian is yet to meet Sinner at tour-level, but he owns a 6-0 ATP Head2Head record against Ramos-Vinolas.

Djokovic shares the top section of the draw with Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz. The Pole claimed his maiden Masters 1000 crown just five days ago with four consecutive Top 20 wins en route to the final (d. Sinner). Former semi-finalists Alexander Zverev (2018) and David Goffin (2017) also feature in the top quarter of the draw.

In the bottom half of the draw, 11-time champion Nadal will also make his first appearance since the Australian Open. The Spaniard will start his bid for a 12th Monte-Carlo crown against Adrian Mannarino or a qualifier in the second round.  

Nadal most recently triumphed at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in 2018, when he defeated Kei Nishikori in the championship match to lift his third straight title. The 34-year-old also won an Open Era record eight consecutive titles in Monte-Carlo from 2005 to 2012. Nadal, who owns a 71-5 record at the Masters 1000 event, shares the third quarter of the draw with sixth seed Andrey Rublev, Miami semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut and former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov.

Second seed Daniil Medvedev is also in Nadal’s half of the draw. The 10-time ATP Tour titlist will begin his quest for a maiden clay-court Masters 1000 trophy against Filip Krajinovic or Nikoloz Basilashvili. Two years ago, Medvedev stunned Djokovic en route to his first Masters 1000 semi-final (l. to Lajovic).

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Medvedev could meet defending champion Fabio Fognini in the third round. Fognini became the first Italian to claim a Masters 1000 trophy in 2019, when he defeated Alexander Zverev and Nadal en route to the biggest title of his career in Monte-Carlo. Seventh seed Diego Schwartzman and Pablo Carreno Busta join Medvedev in the bottom quarter of the draw.

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas headlines the second quarter. The Acapulco runner-up will meet #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti or Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev in the second round.

Tsitsipas shares the second quarter with eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, 2016 runner-up Gael Monfils and five-time ATP Tour titlist Cristian Garin. In one of the picks of the first-round matches, Garin will meet Felix Auger-Aliassime. The #NextGenATP Canadian will be joined in the Principality by new coaching team member Toni Nadal. 

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