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Every word from a worrying Novak Djokovic press conference after Italian Open drubbing


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Six-time champion Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open after suffering a comprehensive defeat to world No 32 Alejandro Tabilo in Rome – and he struggled to sum up his performance in a confused post-match press conference.

Chile’s Tabilo took full advantage of an error-strewn performance from world number one Djokovic to storm to a one-sided 6-2 6-3 victory in just 67 minutes.

The defeat came two days after Djokovic was struck on the head by a water bottle as he left the court following his first match in Rome.

Despite wild claims from some of his more passionate fans on social media platforms, Djokovic dismissed suggestions he had been struck deliberately by the bottle, as he admitted the after-effects of the incident may have been a factor in his defeat against Tabilo.

Here is everything Djokovic said to reporters in Rome as he made another early exit from a ATP Masters 1000 tournament.

Could you please explain why you weren’t able to perform at your highest level today?

Djokovic: Congratulations to my opponent. It’s the first time I faced him. Great player. Really quality player. All-around game.
Yeah, I just wasn’t able to find any kind of good feelings on the court, to be honest, with striking the ball. Yeah, I was completely off.

Was this related at all to the bottle incident? Were you feeling anything from what happened on Friday night?

Djokovic: I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that. Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.

Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.

Could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on.

READ MORE: Jannik Sinner to become unofficial world No 1 after shock Novak Djokovic loss – what he needs to do to make it official

What is your mindset before Roland Garros at this point?

Djokovic: Same like always (smile on his face).

What do you think you need to look at as you lead up to Roland Garros and after Roland Garros ahead of the Olympics, as well?

Djokovic: Well, everything. Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win

Given the difference between training and how you played on the court today, whether there might be a risk of what happened to you could affect your chances of participating at Roland Garros?

Djokovic: As I told you, I didn’t do any scans or any tests. Right now, I feel like I should do it, so…
I will do it and let’s see. Let’s see what’s happening.

Can you tell us more what happened the night where you received the bottle. How did you understand it?

Djokovic: I mean, I think in the video you saw it very clearly. It was a very unfortunate, unlucky situation for me. It was an accident where that guy leaned over the fence, and the bottle dropped from his rucksack and landed directly on my head.

It was unexpected obviously. I wasn’t even looking up. Then I felt a very strong hit in the head. That has, yeah, really impacted me a lot. After that I got the medical care. Been through half an hour, an hour of nausea, dizziness, blood, a lot of different things.

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.

I mean, 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.

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