Rome — Novak Djokovic’s The clay court game is still a work in progress.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion had to recover from a mid-match mistake before being beaten Grigor Dimitrov He lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 on Sunday to reach the fourth round of the Italian Open.
Struggling with his footwork, complaining about the clay conditions at Campo Central and protesting line calls, Djokovic lost four games in a row to hand the second set to Dimitrov, who at one point during that stretch Won 12 straight points.
But Djokovic upped his game when it counted most, breaking Dimitrov in the opening game of the third and improving to 11-1 in his career against the Bulgarian.
“The crowd got into it and kind of followed it and definitely with the energy of the place [entire] The match changed,” Djokovic said. “I dropped my level a bit. But luckily, I managed to find it quickly in the first game, getting that crucial break and shaping the momentum on my side. So, I am really happy with the way I closed the match.”
Djokovic, returning from three weeks off, is aiming for a seventh title in Rome as he recovers from surgery on his right elbow. He is also preparing for the French Open, which starts in two weeks.
In his two previous tournaments on red clay, Djokovic had suffered consecutive early exits – the result meant he would lose the No. 1 ranking after this tournament. Carlos Alcaraz re. they were also tested by Tomas Martin Echeverri in his opener in Rome.
Earlier two-time defending champion inga swotek swept aside Lesia Surenko Extended his winning streak to 13 matches at the Foro Italico, 6–2, 6–0.
after rooting Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova After a bye in the first round, 6–0, 6–0 in her opening match, Swiatek has now lost just two games in four sets.
Swiatek scored 22 winners against his Ukrainian rival’s two.
“I’m just trying to be consistent and trying to play my game,” Swiatek said. “I treat every match as a final. I try to have the right mindset and get my energy up before every match.”
After it was over, Surenko had some kind words in net for Svetek, who has been wearing a ribbon in Ukraine’s colors on his cap for more than a year.
“She thanked me for supporting Ukraine,” said Swiatek, who is Polish. “It’s really cool and I really appreciate it. [But] There is nothing to thank for, because it is absolutely clear to me that we must support Ukraine. I will do this until the war is over.”
If she lifts the trophy again, Swiatek will join Chris Evert and Conchita Martinez as the third women to win three consecutive titles in Rome.
Top-ranked Swiatek will next take on 16th seed lyudmila samsonova or 21st ranked Donna Vekicwho were playing later.
Coco GauffLast year a French Open finalist was defeated by the 27th seed Marie Buzkova4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Also advancing on red clay was the 2019 Roland Garros finalist marka vondrosovawho beat ninth seed Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3.
Madison Keys when reached the last 16 Victoria Azarenka Withheld from the match due to a right leg injury.
In other men’s matches, holger rune kept his composure amid the partisan mob and annihilated Fabio FogniniThe experienced Italian, 6-4, 6-2.
Fognini took issue with a call at the start of the first set and protested the length of the chair umpire when his shot was called out after a mark check.
Fognini said, “How can you call this ball out? How can you make this mistake? There is no room.” “It’s impossible. How can you be so bad?”
Daniil Medvedev registered his first career win in Rome by defeating emile rusuvuori 6-4, 6-2. The Russian had lost his opener in his three previous appearances at the Foro.
Too, Stefanos Tsitsipas Just two games were needed to finish off the second round win Nuno Borges6-3, 6-3, in a match that was suspended on Saturday due to rain.
German qualifier Yannick Hanfman defeated the ninth seed taylor fritz 6-4, 6-1.
Afternoon, local favorite genetic sinner was against Alexander Shevchenko,
Djokovic’s next match will either be seeded 13th Cameron Norrie Or Marton FuksovicsWho were also playing later.