Rome, September 16
Novak Djokovic turned the web page on his contentious US Open exit and started his clay-court season with a convincing 6-Three 6-2 victory over wildcard Salvatore Caruso within the second spherical of the Italian Open on Wednesday.
The world No. 1 was disqualified in New York after by chance hitting a line decide with a ball throughout his fourth spherical match towards Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.
Djokovic’s frustration boiled over after dropping his serve towards Carreno Busta within the opening set at Flushing Meadows however 10 days on in Rome he didn’t face a single break level in an imperious show towards the unseeded Caruso.
“Obviously I had an early exit (at the US Open) so had more time to prepare,” Djokovic stated courtside. “I did observe for per week now and tried to play some units coming into this ATP 1000 match.
“Caruso is a clay-court specialist and it was a great challenge today.”
On arrival in Rome, an apologetic Djokovic vowed to be “the best version” of himself on and off the courtroom and he stored his feelings in test towards native hope Caruso.
Four-times Rome champion Djokovic, who acquired an opening-round bye, broke Caruso’s serve within the eighth sport earlier than serving out the opening set.
Caruso, who battled previous American Tennys Sandgren within the opening spherical for his first ATP Masters 1000 match win, dropped his serve in a see-saw third sport of the second set which lasted practically 12 minutes.
With momentum firmly on his aspect, prime seed Djokovic broke his opponent for a 3rd time within the match earlier than celebrating victory by blowing kisses into the empty stands on the Foro Italico.
Having recorded 51 victories in 60 matches, Djokovic is the second most profitable participant within the match’s historical past – simply behind nine-time champion Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic has gained 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 Sept. 27.
“My best results have come on hard-court but I enjoy competing on clay,” stated Djokovic. “It’s a demanding surface where you have to be patient and construct your points.”
Djokovic will face both fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic or Italian Marco Cecchinato for a spot within the last-16. Reuters