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.