Novak Djokovic is in ways more than the most unique of players on the tour.
On one hand, the veteran Serbian is a GOAT contender along with an impeccable sense of humor and a genuine desire to do good. And yet, yet somehow there always is a shadow of controversy wherever he goes. From an accidental hit to the umpire in the US Open to covid controversies in the Australian Open, Novak almost always finds himself mired in the most hapless of situations.
The world number 1 seemed to be cruising towards the victory in his tournament opener against Taylor Fritz when rain struck and the chaos, the shouting, and the delays began. However, at the end of it all, Novak did emerge victorious in straight sets 6-3,7-6.
‘You are not checking anything!’ shouts Novak Djokovic
The match seemed destined to end as Novak wa sserving for victory at 5-4 in teh second set and despite a drizzle having commenced,the chair umpire let the match continue and the Serbian clearly wasn’t very happy with the proceedings.
The 33-year-old Serbian star made his feelings clear after he was broken courtesy of conditions and some stupendous play from Taylor Fritz.
“How much do you wanna play?” Djokovic yelled at umpire Nacho Forcadell. “I asked you three times; you are not checking anything.”
The match was eventually suspended for three hours before Djokovic secured a 6-3 7-6 (5) victory.
Djokovic said he had been struggling with the court conditions before the players were sent off the court at 5-5 in the second set.
“It was a very strange match with strange conditions,’‘ Djokovic said. “Obviously, playing under the rain nonstop for almost two full sets, it is challenging for both me and him.
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I was stressed out in the end obviously, but I think it was the right call to stop the match,” Djokovic said. “When I came back, I thought we were quite even actually till the last point.
“I’m glad that I managed to finish off this match in straight sets. I know I can play better.”the Serbian concluded.
Chasing a sixth title in Rome, Djokovic will play the winner of the match between Britain’s Cameron Norrie and Spanish player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the round of 16.
Italian Open updates-
The other seeds including Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Daniil Medvedev too will begin their campaigns in Rome today.
Earlier, in perhaps one of the best matches of this year, Madrid Open finalist Matteo Berrettini battled from a set down to beat N. Basilashvili 4-6,6-2,6-4, to secure a last 16 spot.