HomeTennisItalian Open 2024 Day 5 Recap - Perfect Tennis

Italian Open 2024 Day 5 Recap – Perfect Tennis


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Day five at the 2024 Italian Open threw up another big surprise as Alejandro Tabilo dispatched Novak Djokovic for the loss of just five games.

It was the Chilean’s biggest career win, and he handed Djokovic his earliest-ever exit at the Foro Italico, where he’d previously made the quarter-finals or better every year since 2007.

Elsewhere, Sascha Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, and Taylor Fritz progressed in straight sets, claiming impressive wins to book their spots in the fourth round.

You can see all the results from day five below and select highlights.

Day Five Italian Open 2024 Round of 32 Results

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Winner Loser Scoreline
Alejandro Tabilo (29) Novak Djokovic (1) 6-2, 6-3
Alexander Zverev (3) Luca Darderi 7-6(3), 6-2
Grigor Dimitrov (8) Terence Atmane (Q) 7-6(3), 6-3
Taylor Fritz (11) Sebastian Korda 6-3, 6-4
Zhizhen Zhang Ben Shelton (12) 6-2, 6-4
Karen Khachanov (16) Francisco Cerundolo (20) 6-2, 6-4
Nuno Borges Francesco Passaro (Q) 4-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(4)
Thiago Monteiro (Q) Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(6)

Tabilo Topples Djokovic


Alejandro Tabilo delivered a big upset at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Sunday, defeating six-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-3 in a commanding third-round performance.

The 29th-seeded Chilean played a very clean-hitting match, striking the ball with precision from both sides and consistently challenging Djokovic, who seemed unusually subdued and lackadaisical.

Tabilo broke Djokovic’s serve four times and impressively did not face a single break point, which is virtually uncharted territory for Novak. He wrapped up the match in just 68 minutes. He secured a double break to lead 3-0 and took the first set. In the second set, Djokovic’s struggles continued with more double faults, allowing Tabilo to break early and ultimately seal the match with steady serving and another break.

This victory propels Tabilo into the fourth round of a Masters 1000 for the second time, his first being at Indian Wells in 2023. He will next face 16th seed Karen Khachanov, who won his earlier match against Francisco Cerundolo 6-2, 6-4.

It’s incredible. I came on court just looking around, trying to soak everything in and process everything. I’m just trying to wake up right now. I was trying to keep my nerves in and keep swinging. Obviously, whenever you feel closer to the end, your arms start to get a little tighter, and you start to swing shorter, so I was trying not to think about it and take it point by point. It’s crazy; I can’t believe what just happened. I think everybody involved in the process [of my career], and my family, can’t believe it right now. They basically sent me in [to the match] with, ‘You’ve done a great job, it’s unbelievable that you’ve got this far’. So I don’t think anybody can believe it. I’m still trying to process everything, so it’s a crazy feeling. Tabilo on his big win over Djokovic.

It’s tricky for Djokovic to sum up his situation. Was the bottle drop on his head a cause of a minor concussion? I’ve seen that theory banded about, and Djokovic said he was unsure about it during his after-match press conference, saying he needs to check it.

To be honest, I don’t know. I have to check that. The training was different. Yesterday, I went for a kind of easy training. I didn’t feel anything, but I 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. 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. I’ve been through half an hour, an hour of nausea, dizziness, blood, and a lot of different things. I managed to sleep okay. I had headaches. The next day or yesterday was fine, so I thought it was okay. Maybe it is okay. Maybe it’s not. I mean, the way I felt on the court today was completely like a different player had entered my shoes. There was no rhythm, no tempo, no balance whatsoever on any shot. It’s a bit concerning. Djokovic on his lacklustre performance.

Dimitrov Downs Atmane

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Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the fourth round by defeating qualifier Terence Atmane 7-6(3), 6-3 on Sunday.

In tricky, warm conditions, the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story, as Dimitrov was pushed hard by the Frenchman in the early stages, and the set could have gone either way.

However, once he won the first set, he started freewheeling in the second set and recorded victory in one hour and 44 minutes.

Dimitrov is set to face Taylor Fritz in his next match, and I think he’ll need to play better to get the job done. 

For the past five days I have been playing lefties, so it will be nice to get a righty, but it is what it is. It was a very difficult match. Probably one of the most difficult matches this year. The conditions were so difficult. I rolled my ankle on one side, there was not much clay left. You have to adapt, and today, that is what I did. I played an OK game, and that was enough, but at the same time, I am not happy with where my game is at. But I keep winning matches like this, and that is what counts. Dimitrov on overcoming Atmane.

Other Matches of Note

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Claylor Fritz Continues Form: Fritz continues to perform well on the clay, winning 6-3, 6-4 against Sebastian Korda. The American won 90 per cent (27/30) of his first-serve points and is looking right at home on the crushed brick.

Zverev Drops Darderi: The draw has opened up nicely for Zverev, and so far, he’s keeping his end of the bargain, seeing off Luca Darderi in a high-quality match to make the fourth round. He should make the final, and he has a decent shot at winning his 2nd Rome title.

Zhang Sinks Shelton: A disappointing loss for Shelton given his recent form, and Zhang records his first top 20win of the season 6-2, 6-4.

Italian Open 2024 Day 6 Round of 32 Matches

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  • Félix Auger-Aliassime (18) vs. Alex de Minaur (9)
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) vs. Cameron Norrie (27)
  • Alexandre Muller (Q) vs. Andrey Rublev (4)
  • Stefano Napolitano (WC) vs. Nicolás Jarry (21)
  • Tommy Paul (14) vs. Dominik Köepfer
  • Sebastián Báez (17) vs. Holger Rune (10)
  • Hubert Hurkacz (7) vs. Tomás Martín Etcheverry (25)
  • Hamad Međedović (Q) vs. Daniil Medvedev (2)

Who is your favourite for the title now the draw is wide open? Let me know in the comments.

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