Novak Djokovic
Djokovic holds a 2-0 head-to-head advantage over his second-round opponent Reuters

Second seed Novak Djokovic takes on British qualifier Aljaz Bedene in the Men's singles second round of 2017 Madrid Masters on Tuesday.

The four-time champion heads into the tournament on the back of reaching the semi-final of last week's Madrid Masters, which was also his only second last-four stage appearance this year after his title-winning run in Doha.

On the other hand, Bedene, the world number 55, luckily benefited from his first-round opponent Gianluca Mager's retirement as the Brit was trailing the Italian 7-6, 4-6, 0-3.

Djokovic would have rued ending his seven-match unbeaten streak against Rafael Nadal, who is looking unstoppable on clay, in the semi-final of Madrid, but the Serb should take confidence from his run to the last-four last week, especially after parting ways with his coaching team, including long-time coach Marian Vajda earlier this month.

A good showing in Rome will help the world number gain the much-needed boost ahead of title defence at French Open, starting 28 May. With potential quarter-final meeting against seventh seed Kei Nishikori and semi-final clash against Nadal awaiting him, Djokovic would want to seal comfortable wins in early stages of the tournament.

Djokovic will fancy his chances tonight against Bedene, whom he has beaten in their two meetings - 2016 French Open R32 and 2015 Australian Open. Despite the 27-year-old Brit's recent success on Challenger tournaments on clay - titles at Sophia and Barletta Challengers and a run to final in Budapest, the Serb will start as the clear favourite to win their first ever non-Grand Slam meeting.