Djokovic, Nadal Make Winning Returns In Rome
Muhammad Irfan 1 day ago Thu 17th September 2020 | 01:00 AM
Rome, Sept 16 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Sep, 2020 ) :Defending champion Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic made winning returns at the Italian Open on Wednesday with the top two men's seeds easing into the third round of the clay-court tournament in Rome.
Nine-time winner Nadal swept aside fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-1 in his first match in over six months, played behind closed doors at the Foro Italico.
"It was a good feeling going out there," said 34-year-old Nadal.
"Not beautiful, the feeling playing without the spectators, because the energy of the fans is impossible to describe.
"But for me, at least, today was a very positive comeback.
"I played a very solid match and very serious and doing a lot of things very well, so very happy." Nadal only conceded one break point chance to his 18th-ranked rival who showed signs of tiredness having reached the semi-finals of the US Open.
Nadal is building towards his bid for a 13th French Open title, although he stressed: "I never take Rome like preparation for nothing else." Earlier, Djokovic eased past Italian wild card entry Salvatore Caruso 6-3, 6-2 after his unbeaten record this season was ended with a US Open last 16 default for accidently striking a line judge with a ball hit in frustration.
"I didn't feel that I had any mental or emotional blockages or any dramas playing a match today," said the world number one.
Djokovic, who had said he had learned a "big lesson" was keen to move on in Rome.
Only some noisy workers managed to unnerve the 17-time Grand Slam winner after missing break points.
"I don't know who it was, but it was noise coming from there during the points.
"That's the only thing that we, I and Caruso, also told chair umpire." Djokovic continued where he left off before his US Open exit, having won the Cincinnati Masters on the same Flushing Meadows courts.
"It was a very good test for me. I'm very pleased with the way I handled myself in important moments," said Djokovic, who has reached nine finals in Rome and won four.
He next plays 29th-ranked fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic for a place in the quarter-finals.
- Halep, Azarenka advance - Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas fell to Italian teenager Jannik Sinner 6-1, 6-7 (9/11), 6-2, with sixth seeded Belgian David Goffin also exiting 6-2, 6-2 to Croatia's Marin Cilic.
"It was a little bit difficult to get the rhythm and to get relaxed," said the 28-year-old Romanian, who skipped the US Open but is warming up for a bid for a second French Open title later this month.
Swiss sixth seed Belinda Bencic fell 6-3, 6-1 in her second round match to Montenegro's 86th-ranked Danka Kovinic.