Djokovic, In A Hurry, Routs Shapovalov
Novak Djokovic played like a man in a hurry – and on a roll – on Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. The four-time champion spent only 66 minutes on the court, dismissing #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3 on Campo Centrale.
Djokovic, who won Rome in 2008, '11, '14-15, landed 80 per cent of his first serves and came through on nine of his 13 break points against Shapovalov, who hit 24 unforced errors to 16 winners. The two first met in January in the third round of the Australian Open, where Djokovic won in four sets, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0, en route to his 15th Grand Slam title.
“I thought I was, from back of the court, very solid, not giving Denis time to swing. He has a big swing. He can play really with a lot of spin and also a lot of speed and power from back of the court. I took away that time from him,” Djokovic said. “First set he obviously made a lot of unforced errors. Second set he started playing better, and it was a closer set. But I thought I had opportunities from the very beginning of his service games.
“I served very well. I think that was probably the best shot I've had.”
On Sunday, Djokovic beat #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas to win a record-tying 33rd ATP Masters 1000 title at the Mutua Madrid Open. Both Nadal and Djokovic are vying for No. 34 this week in the Italian capital.
In Thursday's final match on Grandstand, the top-seeded Serbian will face German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Italy's Marco Cecchinato 6-3, 6-3.
“I didn't spend too much time on the court in this first match. That's a positive, obviously, in these circumstances. But it's not the first, probably not the last time, I'm going to play two matches in a day. I'm looking forward to it,” Djokovic said. “I've been playing well, feeling well, high confidence. Hopefully I can keep on going.”