etcheverry prevailed in straight sets, 7-6 (7) and 6-3, against the young Frenchman Luca Van Asche (85th). The Serbian star, for his part, is exempt from playing in the first round as he is seeded and will start the tournament with the Buenos Aires native as his opponent.
Djokovic is the current champion in Rome and he is looking for a seventh title in the Foro Italico, although he comes from an elbow problem that prevented him from being in the recent Masters 1000 in Madrid.
Another Argentine will also be in the second round, Sebastian Baez (40th), who beat the Peruvian 7-5, 6-3 John Paul Varillas (97th) and will have the Dutchman as his next adversary Tallon Griekspoor (36th).
In another duel between South American players, the Chilean Cristian Garin (79th) beat the Argentine Pedro Cachin (68th) by 6-4, 3-6 and 7-6 (5), to meet in the second round with the American tommy paul (17th).
The one who was eliminated from the start was the Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo (105th), who lost to the 18-year-old Frenchman Arthur Phils (119th) in three sets, 6-1, 1-6 and 6-4.
On the other hand, in an outstanding duel between experienced players, the local Fabio Fognini eliminated the former number 1 andy murray whom he beat 6-4, 4-6 and 6-4 in an entertaining match on the center court.