Djokovic pleased with Rome outing

17 September 2020 03:07:51 GMTPlus10

World number one Novak Djokovic declared himself "very pleased with how he handled himself" after he made a winning reappearance at the Italian Open in Rome.

It was Djokovic's first appearance since he suffered a controversial disqualification from his US Open fourth-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta earlier this month.

The Serb, who was a red-hot favourite to record an 18th Grand Slam title victory in the absence of old foes Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, was disqualified after a ball he hit towards the back of the court late in the first set struck a line judge.

Despite the setback, Djokovic is keen to look forward rather than behind and his French Open preparations - the Paris Grand Slam starts on September 21 - kicked off with victory in Rome.

Djokovic has won the Italian Open on four occasions and although his last success in Rome came five years ago, he overcame home hope Salvatore Caruso 6-2 6-2 in this year’s curtain-raiser to suggest another bold bid is in store.

Speaking after Wednesday’s victory, Djokovic said: "I was actually looking forward to (playing again) as soon as possible after what happened in New York.

"Because I feel like the sentiment on the court needs to be positive, and I need to kind of remove anything that can possibly cause any kind of issues to me - if there is something."

He added: "It was a very good test for me. I'm very pleased with the way I handled myself in important moments."

Djokovic will face compatriot Filip Krajinovic in the next round in the Italian capital.

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