Italian Open: Novak Djokovic thumps Aslan Karatsev in opener; Felix, Shapovalov also advance ahead

ANI
Rome, Italy Updated: May 11, 2022, 06:25 PM(IST)

Italian Open: Djokovic beats Karatsev in opener; Felix, Shapovalov also win Photograph:( AFP )

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The top seed must reach the semi-finals to prevent Daniil Medvedev from taking his spot at the top of the ATP Rankings on Monday, and the Serbian`s all-round performance against Karatsev represented an impressive start to that mission.

Novak Djokovic`s bid to retain his World No. 1 status enjoyed a solid start on Tuesday at the Italian Open 2022 in Rome. The five-time champion brushed past Aslan Karatsev, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round at the ATP Masters 1000 event. The top seed must reach the semi-finals to prevent Daniil Medvedev from taking his spot at the top of the ATP Rankings on Monday, and the Serbian`s all-round performance against Karatsev represented an impressive start to that mission.

Djokovic`s return game was at its relentless best as he broke the World No. 35`s serve four times on his way to a comfortable win on centre court. Later, Felix Auger-Aliassime had his back against it literally and figuratively, but the Canadian star found a way to win. The eighth seed rallied past in-form Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 after three hours and two minutes to reach the third round in Rome. Another Canadian, 13th seed Denis Shapovalov, defeated Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 7-6(5).

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The lefty will challenge third seed Rafael Nadal or big-serving American John Isner for a place in the quarter-finals. Shapovalov only faced one break point against 2021 Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili and he saved it. The 23-year-old won 85 per cent of his first-serve points in his one-hour, 40-minute victory.

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