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Djokovic, Nadal Out: Italian Open Shock

Italian Open sees Djokovic and Nadal ousted early; Djokovic's head injury mars play, leading to a surprising loss, shaking up the tournament.
Djokovic, Nadal Out: Italian Open Shockillustration

, a 24-time Grand Slam champion, faced a disappointing defeat at the Italian Open, acknowledging concerns about his performance. Djokovic, who suffered a head injury when accidentally hit by a water bottle after his first-round victory, struggled against 29th-seeded Alejandro in the third round.

Despite managing headaches post the incident, Djokovic's game was notably off. He admitted feeling like a "different player" with no rhythm, tempo, or balance during the match. The Serbian star started with a double-fault and continued to falter, eventually losing 6-2, 6-3 in just 68 minutes.

Tabilo, reveling in his career-defining victory, expressed disbelief at his win. Djokovic's defeat marked his worst performance at the Italian Open, where he had previously only lost once to a player outside the top 10. This unexpected exit followed Rafael Nadal's early departure after losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the third round.

Djokovic, aiming to defend his French Open title, expressed uncertainty about his condition, citing a lack of coordination and balance during the match. With 12 unforced errors compared to Tabilo's four, Djokovic struggled to find his form, failing to create any break point chances.

The loss adds to Djokovic's title drought this year, a rare occurrence for the seasoned player. Tabilo is set to face Karen Khachanov in the next round, while other contenders like Alexander and Sofia Kenin faced contrasting fates in their respective matches.

In the women's tournament, Aryna Sabalenka progressed comfortably, while Kenin suffered an upset at the hands of Slovakian qualifier Rebecca Sramkova. Danielle Collins secured her spot in the next round with a convincing win over Caroline Garcia, as other players like Maria Sakkari and Victoria Azarenka also advanced.

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