HomeTennisNovak Djokovic collapses after fan’s bottle strikes head

Novak Djokovic collapses after fan’s bottle strikes head


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Original concerns for Novak Djokovic have been allayed after a nasty accident while he was signing autographs at the Italian Open.

In his first match for nearly a month, Djokovic had just defeated French qualifier Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-1.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Novak Djokovic hit on head while signing autographs.

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But chaotic scenes soon followed when he was signing autographs.

A fan, who was leaning over the railings to catch a glimpse of the tennis legend, had a hard plastic water bottle in his bag.

The bottle fell out and clocked Djokovic on the head, forcing the superstar to collapse to the ground.

Novak Djokovic’s fell to the ground after he was hit on the head with the bottle. Credit: X

Djokovic required medical assistance but was reportedly OK.

An original video of the incident went viral as it was not clear where the bottle had come from or if it was indeed an accident.

A second video was later released by tournament officials (watch it above) clearly showed it was an accident and the bottle had slipped from the fan’s backpack.

But fans were outraged at thought of it being a deliberate action.

Tennis social media account The Tennis Letter fanned the flames, saying: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour from whoever did this … The world is becoming a very sad place.”

But later calmed things down by positing a wider shot of the video.

According to a spokesperson from the Italian Tennis Federation, Djokovic suffered light bleeding to the head and he was fine.

Djokovic was led from the arena on foot by security staff who covered the 24-time Grand Slam winner while he made his way into the bowels of the stands.

He was taken back to his hotel room where he was recovering.

The spokesperson said Djokovic would not withdraw from the tournament.

“He received medical attention and has already left the Foro Italico to return to his hotel. His condition is not a cause for concern,” tournament organisers said.

His win over Moutet advances him to the third round on Saturday (AEST).

Djokovic, who’s yet to win a tournament in 2024, dropped his first two service games a mite carelessly but the six-time Rome champion ended up looking pretty sharp as he aimed for a good run before opening the defence of his French Open title later in May.

“I haven’t practised with a lefty in a while, so it took me a little bit of time to adjust to the different rotation on the balls,” Djokovic said of his southpaw opponent Moutet.

“The first four games were quite bad for me. … But then I played well.”

Earlier, he had been all smiles as he whacked 21 winners, while also laughing when, in the first game of the second set, the alarm on Moutet’s phone began ringing, prompting the Frenchman to run over, grab it out of his bag and, jokingly, hold it up to his ears as if he was answering.

Laughs all round – and Moutet did then apologise.

There wasn’t much to laugh about for the Australian challenge with, first, Olympic champion Alexander Zverev crushing Sydney’s Aleksandar Vukic 6-0 6-4 and then Jordan Thompson, the national No.2, succumbing 6-1 6-3 to the Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro.

Monteiro even left Thompson dumbfounded at one point with a spectacular, running tweener-lob as he took victory in just under an hour and a half.

The exit of the No.32 seed Thompson meant that, once again, all Australian hopes rest on world No.11 de Minaur, who will on Saturday open his account in a second-round match against tough Spanish clay-court specialist Roberto Carballes Baena, who knocked out Sydney’s Chris O’Connell in the first round.

Shock of the day came with fifth seed Casper Ruud whitewashing Miomir Kecmanovic in the first set before the Serb, after a medical timeout late in the first set, returned to win 0-6 6-4 6-4.

No.11 seed Taylor Fritz defeated home favourite, wildcard Fabio Fognini, 6-3 6-4 while another American Ben Shelton looked good in eventually overpowering Pavel Kotov 4-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the third round in Rome for the first time.

– With AAP

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