Novak Djokovic's journey to the Italian Open 2021, in Rome, began with a match strongly conditioned by the weather conditions and the heaviness of the pitch. The Serbian champion came close to closing the match before the intensity of the rain increased and the chair umpire was forced to suspend the match, but Taylor Fritz did not give up and found the counter-break in time of need.
After more than three hours of hiatus, the two players returned to the court for the warm-up and Djokovic appeared quite nervous, as the scream at the umpire at the end of the first phase of the match can testify. At 5-5, Fritz served very well and, even with the help of a foul Djokovic, moved within a game of the second set.
The Serbian, however, reached the tie-break thanks to two fantastic services. On two occasions, Djokovic lost the mini-break advantage and put the American back in the running, but in the end he had a challenge. In the third round also Kei Nishikori, who took advantage of the retirement of Pablo Carreno-Busta.
Wins also for Matteo Berrettini, Roberto Bautusta-Agut and Denis Shapovalov.
Serena Williams is ready for Rome and Paris
The American champion Serena Williams made interesting statements in the press conference before the Italian Open 2021.
She said: "I must say that everything is going quite well and I feel very good on these courts. I enjoy training and am happy and energized for this clay tour. The truth is that I have recharged the batteries, it is always good news to start over even if it seems difficult.
I trained very well in the Academy, then also in America I did a specific and intense work for clay-courts. I don't get much involved in what people say about me, if I listen to everyone I could go crazy and I'm aware of it.
The truth is that I'm good at this, I always play even if people I don't see it and in general I don't have to show my cards to everyone. The Roland Garros? Right now I'm in Rome and I'm thinking about this tournament, a place I love and where I feel good.
I hope to play some good games here and then there will be time to think about the next Grand Slam, which is something I really care about. I will try to be ready for Paris, now I only think of Rome, one of my favorite cities in the world. I love this city, I have great friends that I made during my adolescence and I love going back to these places."