Published On: Sun, May 12th, 2024
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Novak Djokovic thrashed at Italian Open as Serb raises concerns for French Open | Tennis | Sport

Novak Djokovic was thrashed by Alejandro Tabilo as he exited the Italian Open early on Sunday. The world No.1 was put to the sword 6-2, 6-3 by the Chilean in a massive upset which raises concerns about the Serb’s form heading into the French Open.

It has been a frustrating few days for Djokovic in Rome. He was accidentally struck on the head by a water bottle following his 6-3 6-1 win over Corentin Moutet in the second round before being eliminated from the tournament just 48 hours later.

Djokovic looked like a shadow of his former self as he was run ragged by Tabilo in a display which will worry fans ahead of Roland Garros later this month.

The Serbian struggled from the off, with his serving uncharacteristically poor. He allowed Tabilo to hit the ground running and gain momentum, coming off the back of his success at the Challenger 175 in France.

After claiming the first set in sensational fashion, the world No. 32 showed no signs of wavering and broke Djokovic’s serve in the first game of the second set, before holding on valiantly to secure the biggest victory of his career so far.

With the French Open on the horizon, Djokovic has just eight days to regroup and refocus before targeting one of his most beloved competitions. But the 36-year-old will know that he will need to improve markedly during that short break if he is to retain his crown.

Tabilo, in contrast, will be focusing on the next round of the event following his sensational victory.

Speaking to Sky Sports after his win, he said: “I came on court, just looking around, just trying to soak it all in, trying to process everything. I just can’t believe it, I’m trying to wake up right now.

“I was just trying to keep my nerves in, trying to keep swinging, obviously, every time you feel like you’re closer to the end, your arms start to feel a little tighter and swing shorter so I was just trying not to think about it, point by point. It’s crazy, I can’t believe what’s just happened.”

Asked who he believes will enjoy the victory the most, Tabilo concluded: “I think everybody, everybody who’s been part of the process, my family probably can’t believe it right now, they sent me saying ‘you’ve done a great job, this is unbelievable that you got this far’.”

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