Novak Djokovic loses his cool in the rain and angrily asks umpire ‘How much more you wanna play?’

ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic at the changeover

There was an outburst, rain, victory and an apology as Novak Djokovic held off Taylor Fritz in his opening match at the 2021 Italian Open.

The defending champion came out on top with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win over the American in one hour and 37 minutes, but the match was not without talking points.

Djokovic broke in game two and fashioned further break points in game four, but could not convert. Fritz threatened to draw level in game seven as he had two break points of his own, but he also blew the chances and the world No 1 went on to serve out the set.

After Djokovic broke in the opening game of the second set, it seemed the match would be over quickly, but Fritz drew level in game four only for the Serb to again edge ahead in the next game.

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Following three more wasted break points in game eight, Fritz eventually got the job done in game 10 as he broke for a second time in the set.

However, Djokovic had lost his cool by then as the rain had started to come down harder and at one point he shouted “How much more you wanna play?” at chair umpire Nacho Forcadell.

After the official told him he would check the conditions, Djokovic replied “I asked you three times, you are not checking anything.”

The match was suspended shortly afterwards, but players returned three hours later and after both held serve, the world No 1 got the job done in the tie-breaker.

Djokovic apologised to Forcadell after the match.

He will face either Cameron Norrie or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round after British qualifier Norrie beat Roberto Carballés Baena 6-4, 6-4 while Fokina stunned 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) win.

Eighth seed Diego Schwartzman also crashed out as the Argentine was beaten 6-1, 6-3 by Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Madrid Open runner-up Matteo Berrettini advanced to the second round with 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili while former world No 4 moved into the third round after 11th seed Pablo Carreño Busta withdrew.

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