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Novak Djokovic reeling from bottle strike as he was defeated at Italian Open

Novak Djokovic reeling from bottle strike as he was defeated at Italian Open

Novak Djokovic was hit by the effects of being struck on the head by a bottle as he was defeated at the Italian Open Alejandro Tabilo.

The tennis world number one, 36, was accidentally struck by the container as he signed autographs following his second-round win over Corentin Moutet on Friday (10.05.24) – then battled to find his stride against Tabilo, 26, on Sunday, with the Chilean taking only 67 minutes to win their third-round match 6-2 6-3.

Djokovic told the BBC: “That has really impacted me a lot. After that I got medical care, (and went) through half-an-hour (to) an hour of nausea, dizziness and blood.”

The ace made light of the incident when he jokingly wore a bicycle helmet to training on Saturday – but said he is now taking it more seriously and is facing more scans.

He added: “I managed to sleep OK, I had headaches. The next day, or yesterday, was pretty fine, so I thought it’s OK. Maybe it is OK, maybe it’s not.

“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes.

“Just no rhythm, no tempo, no balance whatsoever on any shot. It’s a bit concerning.”

Djokovic’s defeat marked a first career victory over a top-10 ranked opponent for Tabilo, who is ranked 32nd in the world.

He said about the victory: “It’s incredible. I came on court just looking around and soaking it all in, trying to process everything.

“I’m trying to wake up right now. I was just trying to keep my nerves and keep swinging. Every time you feel like you are close to the end your arms get a little tighter.

“I was just trying not to think about it and take it point by point. It’s crazy, I can't believe what’s happened.”

Tabilo is the first Chilean to beat a world number one since Fernando Gonzalez outplayed Roger Federer at the ATP Finals in 2007.

He will play Karen Khachanov in the next round after the Russian 16th seed beat Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo 6-2, 6-4.

Six-time champion Djokovic will fail to reach at least the quarter-finals in Rome for the first time since 2006.

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