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13/05/24 | 10:17 am

After shock exit, Djokovic reveals impact of bottle incident at Italian Open

After a disappointing exit from the Italian Open, Novak Djokovic, the reigning World No.1 in tennis, attributed his lackluster performance to the aftermath of an unfortunate incident where he was struck on the head by a bottle.

The 36-year-old kicked off his Italian Open journey with a victory over Corentin Moutet in the ATP Masters 1000 tournament’s opening round. However, during his exit from the court on Friday night, an incident occurred where a bottle fell from the stands and hit him on the head.

“I managed to sleep okay. I had headaches. The next day or yesterday was pretty fine, so I thought it’s okay. Maybe it is okay. Maybe it’s not,” Djokovic said in the post-match talk.

The impact of the bottle incident became more apparent during Djokovic’s third-round match against Alejandro Tabilo from Chile. The six-time Italian Open champion struggled to find his usual form, expressing his frustration at not being able to play up to his standards.

“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, no balance whatsoever on any shot. It’s a bit concerning,” the World No.1 said.

Praising his opponent, Djokovic highlighted the challenges he faced against Tabile, commending him for his strong forehand game.

Looking ahead, Djokovic emphasised the need to improve every aspect of his game if he wants to secure his 25th major title at the upcoming French Open in 2024.

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