Back on the fitting path

Rome, September 16

Novak Djokovic behaved higher as we speak in his first match since being defaulted from the US Open. The top-ranked Serb was principally courteous with the chair umpire throughout a 6-Three 6-2 win over native wild-card entry Salvatore Caruso in his opening match on the Italian Open. When the umpire got here down to examine a ball mark on the purple clay early within the first set and made an overrule in Caruso’s favour, Djokovic simply replied, “Yup,” and rubbed out the mark along with his purple sneaker.

When Caruso impressed him — the Italian hit 13 winners to Djokovic’s 12 — Djokovic stated, “Bravo.”

Djokovic’s solely testy second got here through the third recreation of the second set, which went to deuce seven instances earlier than Djokovic lastly broke Caruso’s serve. As the sport wore on, Djokovic appeared bothered by crowd noise, regardless that the Campo Centrale is empty of followers this yr due to the coronavirus pandemic. The solely folks contained in the stadium have been coaches and others working on the event.

“Which ones?” the umpire requested Djokovic, making an attempt to determine who was bothering him. Djokovic replied curtly: “There’s 10 people in the stands.”

Four-time champion Djokovic has recorded 51 victories in 60 matches, making him the second most profitable participant within the event’s historical past — simply behind nine-time champion Rafael Nadal. Djokovic has received 27 of his 28 matches this yr and can resume his hunt for an 18th Grand Slam title on the French Open, which begins on September 27.

Italian teenager stuns Stan

Local teenager Lorenzo Musetti surprised Stan Wawrinka 6-Zero 7-6(2) within the first spherical. Out-hitting Wawrinka’s famed backhand with a one-handed model of his personal, the 18-year-old qualifier moved the three-time Grand Slam champion from nook to nook and displayed an all-court recreation.

Musetti turned the primary participant born in 2002 to win on the ATP tour — after fellow Italian Jannik Sinner achieved the feat final yr for gamers born in 2001. — AP

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