Djokovic keeps things in perspective after win in Rome

Lester Mason
May 15, 2018

And it seems the city is having its magical effect on him once again, judging from Djokovic's encouraging 6-1, 6-3 opening round victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov that lasted just 55 minutes.

Having failed to reach the quarterfinals in six straight tournaments following a right elbow injury, the 12-time Grand Slam victor doesn't want to place too much pressure on himself - even though he is a four-time Rome champion.

Djokovic moves on to face the victor of the match between Nikoloz Basilashvili and Filippo Baldi.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, who won the last of his 68 ATP titles at the Canadian Open in 2016, has slipped to 18th in the world, his lowest ranking in 12 years as he struggles with a nightmare elbow injury.

"Obviously I would like to go all the way but, at the same time, looking at my results I have to be a little more modest with expectations and see where it takes me".

"It wasn't easy match".

Most of the seeded players were untroubled on the first day of action at the Italian Open in Rome, with top names securing passage through to the second round of the clay court tournament.

"The French Open is where I want to play my best tennis that is one big goal for this part of the season".

Having already announced that this would be her final tournament, the 35-year-old Vinci was beaten by Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic 2-6, 6-0, 6-3. "It was windy so conditions were tough for both of us", said Nishikori after the match.

Nishikori arrived in Rome after losing his two matches on clay in Spain - retiring in Barcelona due to a wrist injury before losing his opening round in Madrid to Djokovic.

"He used a lot of slice and great serves, but I think I handled his slice well", continued Nishikori who won his last title in Memphis in February 2016.

Lopez refused to go down without a fight, forcing a first-set tiebreak that Nishikori edged. Nishikori will face third seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the second round.

"As weird as it sounds for me as well, knowing that I haven't had a major title in a while, and haven't played good tennis in a while, I'm still glad that I'm going through this process because it allows me to get to know myself on a deeper level and address certain things that you usually don't address when anything goes well", explained the No. 11 seed.

Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta, the 10th seed, was pushed to three sets by hard-hitting American Jared Donaldson, but held on before flattening his opponent in the decider to win 6-4 3-6 6-0.

Over in the women's draw, Donaldson's compatriot Madison Keys came through her first round tie against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova by a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 margin.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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