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Rome Masters 2013: Novak Djokovic vs. Albert Montanes 2nd Round Preview

By Pawan Atri    + Follow

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Keywords: International BNL d'Italia | Novak-Djokovic | Albert-Montanes
Rome Masters 2013: Novak Djokovic vs. Albert Montanes 2nd Round Preview
World no.1 Novak Djokovic will commence his Rome Masters campaign on a cautious note at the Foro Italico on Tuesday as he was shocked by talented Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the second round of the Madrid Open last week. The Serb was left stinging by both the pain in his right ankle and the loss at the hands of Maria Sharapova's boyfriend that derailed his preparations for an elusive French Open title.

Top seeded Novak Djokovic has only been beaten thrice this year and all those defeats have been inflicted to him by somewhat atypical men – the three men have not been the customary suspects - Roger Federer, Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal but surprisingly go by the names of Juan Martin Del Potro, Tommy Haas and the most recent being the one known as Baby Fed ‘Dimitrov’.

While the thrashing he received from the Tower of Tandil was acceptable as Del Po has the game to crush anyone on his day, his annihilation by the resurgent Haas never went down anybody’s throat as the German is well past his prime and even though he is playing some inspired tennis of late, he wasn’t expected to demolish the Aussie Open champion the way he eventually did.

After those two uncharacteristic routs, the six time Grand Slam champion recovered just in time from an ankle injury that he suffered during the Davis Cup play-offs against the United States to confirm his participation at the Monte Carlo Masters. After scratching through the first couple of rounds he cruised through his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents and in the finals he met the Second Sovereign of the Principality Nadal who entered the title clash on a 46 match winning streak in Monaco. The Serbinator put up an dazzling show aggressive defensive tennis as he simply took out the steam out of Rafa's ground-strokes by targeting his backhand wing and dethroned the King of Clay from his perch at Cote d'Azur.

And just when the pundits predicted that the time was ripe for the Serbinator to continue his journeyof avenging all those losses that Nadal has given him, a red-hot 21 year from Haskovo overwhelmed him in the Spanish capital. Hence,  when he takes to the courts today, he will be well aware of what kind of impact it would have on his chances of winning the Roland Garros crown, if he was to make an early exit from Internazionali BNL d'Italia as well.

Djokovic is a two time winner in Rome and will switch all his energies to bounce back from that humiliating loss. His opponent in his opener is the Spaniard Albert Montanes who hasn’t done anything commendable lately barring a quarterfinals showing at Sao Paulo. Moreover, he has been thrashed by Djokovic in all the four previous duels the pair has contested against one another. Three of their 4 meetings were played on clay and the reigning King of Melbourne had won all of them in straight sets and that includes a 7-5, 6-0 demolition of the world no.89 at the same venue in Italy too.

Pick: Djokovic in two.

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