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Djokovic took a blow to the head, Zverev won, Ruud crashed out in Rome; Nadal vs Gurakc


The toughest part of Novak Djokovic's first-round win over Corentin Moutet at the Rome Masters on Friday was walking off the court. The six-time tournament champion was hit on the head by a water bottle that accidentally slipped out of a fan's backpack.

Djokovic was fine, but needed treatment.

“Thank you for the disturbing messages. It was an accident and I'm resting peacefully at the hotel with an ice pack. See you on Sunday,” Djokovic wrote.

On the court, the Serb fell to the pesky left-hander 3-1 before winning 6-3, 6-1 in 11 of his last 12 games.

Fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic picked up his big win by upsetting 5th seed Kasper Ruud 0-6, 6-4, 6-4. Ruud battled some back problems late in his match after eliminating Kecmanovic 6-0 in the first leg.

Third seed and former tournament winner Alexander Zverev easily beat Aleksandar Vukic 6-0, 6-4.

Also, 11th seed Taylor Fritz continued his strong play on clay, ousting Italian favorite Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4. No. 16 seed Karen Khachanov beat Alexander Shevchenko 6-4, 6-4.

Eighth seed Grigor Dimitrov defeated Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 7-5, 6-4. Number 12 Ben Shelton dispatched Pavel Kotov 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a tough fight. And number 24 Sebastian Korda calmed the unruly crowd by beating Italy's Flavio Cobolli 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-4.

Tomorrow, 10-time champion Rafael Nadal returns to take on Hubert Hurkacz in his first meeting.

“I think it’s very positive today,” Nadal said Thursday. “Even if I didn’t play very well, it was surprising for me in a way, but on the other hand it wasn’t surprising because I hadn’t played much tennis for almost two years.

“I need to admit that my level is a little higher and higher. It's not like everything was very stable before. I need to find that stability again.”

Defending champion Daniil Medvedev will face Jack Draper, Madrid winner Andrey Rublev will face Marcos Giron and number six Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Jan-Lennard Struff.

“I feel good now. I would say that I had a slight injury,” Medvedev said on Thursday. “They say that it was, I spent three days in Madrid, I gained a lot of weight. I came here and sparred to control my movements. Today I'm at full capacity. Tomorrow the match will even have an extra day, so I’m ready to play.

“Yeah, there's usually no risk of aggravating the injury, so I'll play and see how it goes.”


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