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Djokovic fumes at umpire in rain-affected Rome opener

/ 04:46 PM May 12, 2021
Novak Djokovic tennis ITalian Open

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after winning his second round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

ROME—World number one Novak Djokovic was furious with the chair umpire for not suspending play as rain trickled down during his Italian Open second-round match against American Taylor Fritz on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Serb made his feelings clear after he was broken when serving for victory in the second set.

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“How much do you wanna play?,” Djokovic yelled at umpire Nacho Forcadell. “I asked you three times, you are not checking anything.”

The match was eventually suspended for three hours before Djokovic secured a 6-3 7-6(5) victory. All the other men’s matches for the day were canceled.

Djokovic said he had been struggling with the court conditions before the players were sent off the court at 5-5 in the second set.

“It’s not the first time or probably the last that I’m going to experience such conditions,” Djokovic, who has received an opening-round bye this week, told Amazon Prime.

“And even with that much experience behind me I still get upset and lose my cool. But it’s OK. At the end of the day these are great lessons – I will try and take away some important things from this day.”

Djokovic was disqualified from last year’s U.S. Open after accidentally hitting a female line judge with a ball during his fourth-round match against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.

Chasing a sixth title in Rome, Djokovic will play the winner of the match between Britain’s Cameron Norrie and Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the round of 16.

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