World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was satisfied with the way he kicked off his campaign at the Rome Masters a he claimed Italian world No. 87 Salvatore Caruso was a good test for him. Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, dropped just five games en route to beating Caruso 6-3 6-2.
Djokovic and Caruso were all tied at three games apiece after the opening six games of the match as the Italian saved two consecutive break points in the sixth game. But Djokovic claimed his first break of the match in the eighth game, before serving out for the opener in the following game.
Caruso served out the opening game of the second set but didn't do much in the rest of the set as Djokovic claimed two breaks and dropped no service games to clinch an easy straight-set win. "It was a very good test for me.
I'm very pleased with the way I handled myself in important moments,” Djokovic said, per the ATP website. “I was in control of the match. Served well when I needed to come up with a big serve and moved well. I constructed the points as the clay courts demand, because it's obviously completely different surface in terms of building the point tactically.
Everything went well. I'm very pleased”.
Djokovic won't take his next opponent for granted
Djokovic plays next the winner of the match between Marco Cecchinato and Filip Krajinovic. Cecchinato stunned Djokovic in the 2018 French Open quarterfinal.
"[If I play Marco], obviously it will be a very good test for me… He's a clay court specialist. He's someone that made his best results in his career on this surface and [is] just a very, very tricky opponent,” said Djokovic.
“He just knows how to play on this surface very well. But I look forward to it. You know, there will be a good chance for me to try to win against him on clay. "On the other side, we have Krajinovic, as well, [he] is in good form.
I haven't played against him since the first time we played in Belgrade… I retired [from] that match after a set. So I look forward to that, also. I'm very glad that Filip is doing well with the new coach, Janko Tipsarevic.
Filip is someone that I [have been] very close to for many years. I was trying to kind of mentor him in the past seven, eight years. I'm just very, very pleased that he's doing well”.