Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Novak Djokovic head injury: 24-time Grand Slam winner suffers upset loss after getting hit with bottle

Novak Djokovic saw an unexpected Round of 32 exit in the Italian Open on Sunday, as he fell to Alejandro Tabilo by a score of 2-6, 3-6. The upset came just two days after Djokovic was accidentally hit on the head by a water bottle, and the 24-time Grand Slam champion is concerned the incident is affecting him more than expected.

“Today under high stress, it was quite bad,” Djokovic said during the post-match press conference. “Not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.

“I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on.”

After Friday’s straight set victory over Corentin Moutet, Djokovic was signing autographs when someone in the stands dropped a metal bottle on him. Djokovic fell to the ground and grabbed his head, staying there for a significant amount of time before getting accompanied to the locker room. 

Djokovic later tried to reassure fans he was doing fine while resting in his hotel with an ice pack. On Saturday morning, he made light of the situation by showing up to training with a cycling helmet. 

However, it seems what Djokovic was going through this weekend was more than just a simple headache.

“That has really impacted me a lot. After that I got medical care, been through half an hour, an hour of nausea, dizziness and blood,” Djokovic said. “I managed to sleep OK. I had headaches. The next day, or yesterday, was pretty fine, so I thought it’s OK. Maybe it is OK, maybe it’s not.”

The timing of the injury is not ideal with the French Open main event starting May 26. 

The Italian Open also saw an early exit from Rafael Nadal, who suffered a 1-6, 3-6 loss to Hubert Hurkacz in the Round of 64. The 22-Grand Slam champion has dealt with numerous injuries and is expected to retire after 2024, but he is “leaning towards” playing at Roland-Garros.

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