Novak Djokovic wins in Rome and matches Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic took down Corentin Moutet in the second round at Foro Italico

by Jovica Ilic
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Novak Djokovic wins in Rome and matches Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is seeking his seventh Rome Masters crown at Foro Italico. Novak skipped the Madrid Masters to prepare for Rome and Paris, starting his campaign in the Italian capital with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Corentin Moutet.

It was their second duel, and Djokovic overcame a slow start to seal the deal in an hour and 24 minutes. Thus, the Serb played his 79th Rome Masters match, becoming the third player with that many encounters at a single Masters 1000 event after Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Novak landed 21 winners and 13 unforced errors, firing only five service winners but outplaying his rival from the baseline and at the net.

Novak Djokovic, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no.

1 had the upper hand in the shortest and more advanced rallies, playing well in the second set and sailing into the third round. Djokovic played better behind the second serve than the first, defending five out of seven break points and keeping the pressure on his opponent following an early upset.

Novak grabbed 56% of the return points and turned them into six breaks from nine opportunities. Djokovic missed a forehand in the first game of the encounter and offered Moutet three break points. The Frenchman seized the second after the Serb's wild forehand, delivering an early break.

Corentin squandered a game point in game two and got broken following a forced error, bringing Novak back to 1-1.

Novak Djokovic & Corentin Moutet, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic played his 79th Rome Masters match against Corentin Moutet.

Djokovic struggled behind the initial shot again in the third game, playing against three break points and losing serve after Moutet's drop shot winner.

The Frenchman held in the fourth game, extending the lead and moving 3-1 in front. Corentin landed a crafty volley winner in the sixth game, opening a 40-0 lead before squandering four game points. Djokovic stayed composed and pulled the break back after a forced error, leveling the score and never looking back.

Novak engineered another break in game eight, moving 5-3 in front and serving for the opener. World no. 1 held at love in game nine, landing a service winner and wrapping up the opener 6-3 after 44 minutes.

Novak Djokovic, Rome Masters 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Moutet struggled behind the initial shot at the beginning of the second set, offering Djokovic four break chances and losing serve for the third straight time after a loose forehand.

Novak faced two break points in the second game and denied them, closing it with a forehand winner and extending his streak. Moutet produced a fine hold in the third game before Djokovic held at love with a service winner for 3-1.

World no. 1 landed a drop shot winner in the fifth game, notching another break and opening a 4-1 advantage. Novak grabbed the sixth game at love after a smash winner and stole the rival's serve at 5-1 with a volley winner, sealing the deal and moving into the third round.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Roger Federer
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