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Italian Open 2024: Novak Djokovic says he’s doing ‘fine’ after being hit by water bottle

Novak Djokovic (Photo Credit: Twitter/@InteBNLdItalia)

World number 1 Novak Djokovic has said he is doing well after being hit on the head by a metal water bottle following his second-round victory at the 2024 Italian Open in Rome. Djokovic defeated Frenchman Corentin Moutet 6-3, 6-1 on Center Court on Friday to advance to the third round of the Italian Open. It was a huge victory for Djokovic, his 1,099th of his career, but the atmosphere was less than cheerful when the Serbian tennis star was injured leaving the court. Novak Djokovic wins his opener at Italian Open 2024 after a month off, defending champion Elena Rybakina withdraws.

The incident happened when Djokovic was signing autographs for supporters. Footage circulating on social media shows the 36-year-old being hit in the head by a stainless steel water bottle that appears to have fallen from the stands. He quickly grabbed his head with both hands and fell to the ground, surrounded by guards. Djokovic was taken off the court while officials searched for the owner of the water bottle.

“Thank you for the concerned messages. This was an accident and I can rest well in the hotel with an ice pack. See you Sunday,” Djokovic posted late Friday evening in Rome on X, formerly Twitter.

Another angle of the incident, captured on social media, shows a fan’s water bottle slipping out of his bag as he reached out to ask Djokovic for an autograph.

Djokovic did not hold a press conference after his match, as was planned after the incident. Instead, Italian Open authorities stated that Djokovic was receiving medical attention at the Foro Italico premises, and that his “condition is not a cause for concern”. Novak Djokovic is accidentally hit by a bottle after it slips from fan’s bag while signing autographs at the 2024 Italian Open, tournament organizers statement (watch video).

“(Djokovic) has been properly medicated and has already left the Foro Italico to return to his hotel; his condition is not a cause for concern,” tournament officials said in a statement on Friday.

The Serbian international is a six-time Italian Open champion and 24-time Grand Slam winner. On Sunday he will battle Chilean Alejandro Tabilo in search of his 1,100th career victory.