After Novak Djokovic's impressive win at the Qatar Open earlier in January, the Serbian player has not won any titles, and we are almost halfway into 2017. This is something unheard of, and hence Djokovic will be desperate to win the ongoing Rome Masters, where he is set to face Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Djokovic has looked good at Rome Masters, beating Aljaz Bedene in his first match, and Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday to set up a date with Del Potro. The Serbian has not dropped a single set in the Rome Masters, and will be keen to continue that when he comes up against the Argentine player.
Potro, on the other hand, comes into this match with some stunning wins against top-ranked players, including Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 64 clash and Kei Nishikori in the round of 16. So the unseeded player will ooze confidence, but also understand the tough road ahead when he clashes with Djokovic.
If one looks at the head-to-head record, Djokovic has been mighty impressive, winning 13 matches and only losing four. They have already met twice this year, with Djokovic emerging victorious. Such kinds of records would show Djokovic as the favourite, but things could get a bit tricky on clay as this will be their first head-to-head meeting on the surface in 2017.
When it comes to big matches and a tougher opponent, Del Potro can take his game to another level as was witnessed at the Rio Olympics, where he defeated Djokovic. He can use that match as an inspiration ahead of their Rome Masters quarterfinals encounter.
This match is important for both the players as it is the last competition leading up to the French Open. A win here will help the player gain immense confidence ahead of the all-important second Grand Slam of the season.
Where to watch live
Novak Djokovic vs Juan Del Potro match is tentatively scheduled for 9 pm local time, 12:30 am IST start.