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Watch: Novak Djokovic struck with a bottle after Italian Open match | Tennis News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Novak Djokovic emerged victorious with a 6-3, 6-1 win over France’s Corentin Moutet, advancing to the third round of the Rome Open on Friday. However, as he was signing autographs for fans while exiting the centre court at the Foro Italico, Djokovic was struck by a hard plastic water bottle on the back of his head, leaving him in agony and crouched on the ground.
Security staff led the 24-time Grand Slam winner from the arena, covering him as he made his way into the stands. It remains unclear from the video footage whether the bottle was deliberately launched from the stands or accidentally fell onto Djokovic’s head.
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However, giving an update on his situation, Djokovic wrote on X, “Thank you for the messages of concern. This was an accident and I am fine resting at the hotel with an ice pack. See you all on Sunday. “

His next opponent will be Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo. The Serb, who turns 37 shortly before the French Open, is using the Rome tournament to prepare for Roland Garros and has a strong chance of adding to his impressive collection of titles at the Foro Italico, where only Rafael Nadal has won more with 10.
The Rome tournament, running until May 19, is missing some of its biggest stars, with Italian world number two Jannik Sinner and third-ranked Carlos Alcaraz withdrawing from the men’s draw before the start.
Meanwhile, clay court icon Nadal had a challenging start in the first round against qualifier Zizou Bergs on Thursday and is on the opposite side of the draw to Djokovic, making a potential meeting between the two rivals unlikely unless they both reach the final.
Third seed Alexander Zverev, one of Djokovic’s potential threats, easily advanced to the third round with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic. Similarly, Djokovic found his rhythm after a brief challenge from the flamboyant Moutet, winning seven consecutive games from 3-1 down in the first set to take control of the match.
A moment of levity occurred when Moutet’s phone went off during an absorbing opening game of the second set, which lasted nine minutes and saw the Frenchman save four break points before conceding, allowing Djokovic to cruise to victory.
(Inputs from AFP)

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