Drama in Rome as Novak Djokovic struck by bottle after beating Corentin Moutet

Drama in Rome as Novak Djokovic struck by bottle after beating Corentin Moutet

World number one Novak Djokovic collapsed to the ground after he was struck on the head by a bottle at the Italian Open.

Djokovic, still to win a title this year, recovered from a slow start to see off lucky loser Corentin Moutet and move into the third round in Rome.

But just moments after his victory, the 36-year-old suffered an "accidental" blow to his head as he made his way off the court.

Djokovic fell to the ground for more than half a minute before he returned to his feet, flanked by multiple officials, and then headed to the medical centre at the Foro Italico.

A statement from the Italian Open read: "Novak Djokovic has been accidentally hit by a bottle while signing autographs after his 6-3 6-1 win against France's Corentin Moutet at the Italian Open.

"This is not being treated as a deliberate act, but as an accident. A boy was calling out to get an autograph and the bottle fell out of his bag. Novak has been taken to the medical centre."

Organisers later issued an update which read: "He has undergone the necessary checks and has already left the Foro Italico to return to his hotel. His condition is not a cause for concern."

In a post on X, Djokovic said he was "fine" and thanked fans for their support.

He said: "Thank you for the messages of concern. This was an accident and I am fine resting at the hotel with an ice pack. See you all on Sunday."

Djokovic had made a nervy opening to the first set as Moutet broke twice to move 3-1 ahead.

The Serbian, though, fought back with two breaks of his own before serving out the opening set in 45 minutes.

There was a light-hearted moment at the start of the second set when the alarm on Moutet's phone in his bag went off, with the Frenchman making a quick dash to his chair to hit the stop button.

With Djokovic 2-0 up after an early break, the world number one noticed a hole near the baseline on his side of the court, which was quickly patched up before extra clay was bedded in during the next change of ends.

After such a promising start, Moutet was beginning to lose his cool - and was warned by the umpire after kicking the net in frustration after sliding in for a forehand.

Djokovic - competing in his first match since the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo - kept the pressure on Moutet's serve to bring up a match point, which he took at the first opportunity with a forehand volley to complete his 6-3 6-1 win.

Former champion Alexander Zverev, the world number three, defeated Aleksandar Vukic 6-0 6-4 while veteran Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov swept past Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-4 on Court 12.

Fifth seed Casper Ruud, though, suffered a shock defeat as Miomir Kecmanovic came from behind to win 0-6 6-4 6-4 - the Serbian having recovered after leaving the court for a medical time-out late on in the first set.

Number 11 seed Taylor Fritz ended the hopes of home wildcard Fabio Fognini as the American came through 6-3 6-4.

Ben Shelton maintained his impressive clay-court form as the 21-year-old American came from behind to beat Pavel Kotov 4-6 6-3 6-4 and reach the third round in Rome for the first time.

Portugal's Nuno Borges knocked out 15th seed Alexander Bublik 6-4 6-4 and Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro was a 6-1 6-3 winner over Australian number 32 seed Jordan Thompson.

Luciano Darderi and qualifier Francesco Passaro delighted the home support with wins over seeds Mariano Navone and Tallon Griekspoor respectively.

In the WTA event, world number two Aryna Sabalenk staged a fightback to beat Katie Volynets.

Sabalenka lost the first set before taking the next two to complete a 4-6 6-3 6-2 win.

American Sofia Kenin earned her first top-10 win of the year after beating eighth seed Ons Jabeur 7-5 2-6 6-4.

British number one Katie Boulter suffered a surprise 6-4 7-6 defeat to Slovakian qualifier Rebecca Sramkova.

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