Novak Djokovic news: Serb makes a solid start to his Italian Open campaign

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is so far successfully bidding to retain world No 1 ranking at the Italian Open as he beat Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-2 to progress to the third round of the tournament.

Karatsev didn’t have the best start to the match as he dropped his opening serve, however he didn’t let this keep him down and he broke back almost immediately, however he wasn’t able to keep this up against the 20 time Grand Slam champion.

The world No 1 broke in the eighth game to help him gain victory in the opening set, but the second set wasn’t nearly as challenging for the Serbian as he was mostly unfazed by the world No 35 and he went on to take the win in 71 minutes.

“He probably has the biggest calves we have in tennis,” Djokovic joked after the match.

“He can be very dangerous because he stays so close to the line and puts pressure on his opponents.

“He was missing a lot of balls though, he gave me a couple of breaks but I will take this win, it’s a straight sets win against a quality opponent and I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”

This win means that Djokovic has beaten the Russian twice in ATP competitions, while Karatsev has only managed to overcome the Serbian once.

The nine time Australian Open champion will now face either Stanislas Wawrinka or Laslo Djere in the third round of the Rome Masters and he will have to make it to at least the semi finals of the Italian based competition in order to maintain his No 1 status and prevent Danill Medvedev from usurping him again.

This is all before the French Open gets underway from May 16 at Roland Garros and Djokovic will be hoping to bag his 21st Grand Slam title to become level with Rafael Nadal.