‘It’s great to be back,’ says Novak Djokovic after 19th win in a row, but concerns over his stiff neck
Novak Djokovic secured a 19th consecutive win in 2020 as he returned after the five-month tennis hiatus with victory over Ricardas Berankis, but he also required treatment for a stiff neck.
It wasn’t a vintage Djokovic display as he wasn’t 100%, but there were still plenty of positives in the 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 win as he maintained his unbeaten start to the season.
He moves to 19-0 this season. 👏 pic.twitter.com/cYNVbw94Zw
— ATP Tour (@atptour) August 25, 2020
Berankis eked out an advantage as he broke in game seven of the opening set, but the world No 1 hit back straightaway and then won the tie-breaker.
And the world No 72 from Lithuania twice had his nose in front in the second set as he opened a 2-0 lead and also broke in game six to go 4-2 up, but on both occasions Djokovic broke back immediately.
After the Serb consolidated at 4-4, he broke again before serving out the match.
“It’s great to be back and see the tennis family,” Djokovic said after the match.
Djokovic was forced to withdraw from his doubles match earlier in the day due to a neck problem and he twice required treatment during his match.
“It’s getting better. It’s been four days. It’s not yet where I’d like it to be but it’s heading in the right direction,” he said.
“Hopefully it will not react with the inflammation after tonight’s match. We’ll do everything possible with the physio and then we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
He added: “Well, it has bothered me… I made so many double faults, and he knew exactly where I’m going to serve. There were not many options for me because just the awkward situation I was in.
“But I managed somehow with the great help of Clay, ATP physiotherapist, who did his best to make sure I feel better. I tried to take one game at a time. He was striking the ball really well. He was playing super fast.”
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
Simona Halep holds off Garbine Muguruza to reach third Italian Open final
Halep is looking for a first title in Rome.
Rafael Nadal hopeful he can address the issues in his game before French Open
Nadal lost 6-2, 7-5 to Schwartzman in Rome.
Rafael Nadal beaten by Diego Schwartzman in Rome quarter-final
Nadal beaten in straight sets by Schwartzman.
The 2020 French Open: When is it, the high-profile absentees, TV channels, betting, prize money
A lowdown on the 2020 French Open.
A list of Rafael Nadal’s defeats on clay. Can you name the players who have beaten him on the red dirt?
Only 24 players have beaten Rafael Nadal on clay.
Novak Djokovic loses his cool again, obliterates his racket and admits ‘I’ll probably do it again’
Don’t expect Novak Djokovic to change any time soon.
Frank Rafael Nadal after losing against Diego Schwartzman: ‘Now is not the moment to find excuses’
‘How I can fix it?’ asks Nadal after Rome exit.
Simona Halep dreaming of maiden Italian Open crown after reaching semi-finals
Halep has twice been beaten in the final at the Foro Italico.
Novak Djokovic survives scare at Italian Open to see off qualifier Dominik Koepfer
Djokovic sets up clash against Ruud.
Novak Djokovic survives tough first set on way to beating Filip Krajinovic
Djokovic and Krajinovic played an 87-minute opening set.