Djokovic undergoes scans after bottle hits him

Henry

Novak Djokovic described his elimination in the third round of the Italian Open on Sunday by Alejandro Tabilo as “worrying”. The defeat comes two days after a bottle hit Djokovic on the head, an incident which he says caused nausea and dizziness.

The Serbian’s attempt at a record 41st Masters title was ended in just over an hour by the Chilean Tabilo. This is Tabilo’s, 32nd in the world ranking, first win against a top ten opponent. The score was 6-2 and 6-3.

Djokovic said his subdued performance on a course where he has won six titles may have been due to the blow he received when he greeted fans on Friday night.

He initially laughed after a hard water bottle hit him on the head after his victory against Corentin Moutet and had to wear a cycling helmet to his practice on Saturday morning.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I will have to see. The exercise was different. I kept the exercise light. I didn’t feel anything, but I didn’t feel the same either,” Djokovic said.

“Under (Sunday’s) high pressure it was quite bad; not in terms of pain, but with balance. There was just no coordination.”

Djokovic also said he will undergo scans to determine what is going on ahead of the French Open in Paris. He travels to France, worried not only about the effects of the blow to the head, but also about his level of play.

The last time Djokovic competed at Roland Garros without a title to his name was in 2018.

Djokovic, the defending champion at the French Open, admits that “everything has to be better so that I at least have a chance to win”.

A win could give him his 25th Grand Slam title.

“The way I felt on the court today was like another player standing in my shoes,” said Djokovic. “It’s slightly worrying.”

Djokovic’s early elimination means that the tournament before Roland Garros is now wide open. The third ranked

beat the Italian Luciano Darderi, 54th in the world ranking, with 7-6 (7/3) and 6-2.

In addition, Tabilo was a worthy winner against Djokovic.

“Honestly, at no point did I think ‘okay, I can win this’,” said a delighted Tabilo after the match.

“I played incredible tennis. The whole game I just tried to take it point by point, not to think about the score. Every point was like the beginning of the game.”