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Other SportsNovak Djokovic crashes out of Italian Open with Tabilo defeat

Novak Djokovic crashes out of Italian Open with Tabilo defeat

Novak Djokovic suffered a surprise third-round exit at the Italian Open on Sunday, slipping to a straight-sets defeat against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo.

Djokovic progressed through the second round with a 6-3 6-1 win over Corentin Moutet on Friday, though the headlines focused on an incident which saw him struck on the head by a water bottle that fell from the crowd as he signed autographs after the match.

He was hoping to tee up a last-16 clash with Karen Khachanov for Tuesday, but was stunned by his 29th-seeded opponent as Tabilo won 6-2 6-3.

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Tabilo produced a remarkably clean performance as he broke Djokovic’s serve no less than four times, the world number one failing to force a single break point of his own through 68 minutes.

Tabilo, whose only previous fourth-round appearance at an ATP Masters 1000 event came at Indian Wells in 2023, forced the issue with a series of big forehand strokes as Djokovic produced a strangely lethargic display.

Two double faults in the opening game of the second set rather summed up Djokovic’s performance as he handed Tabilo another break, and he was held at arm’s length from there as the Chilean made his first career match against a top-ranked player a memorable one.

Rafael Nadal was also eliminated from the Rome event on Saturday, while Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner were forced to withdraw through injury ahead of the tournament, making Daniil Medvedev the favourite to defend the crown he captured in 2023.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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