Novak Djokovic branded the Rome Masters centre court an “absolute disaster” during his opening-round match against Tomas Etcheverry. The top seed went down a break early on but was able to retrieve it. And he complained that there was too much clay before the umpire ordered the court to be swept in the first set.
Djokovic was playing his first match in three weeks, after skipping the Madrid Open due to an elbow injury. After getting broken in the opening game he was able to draw level at 3-3.
The top seed appeared to be struggling with the bounce of the ball on some points, and as he sat down for the changeover at 4-3 he could be heard labelling the court an “absolute disaster”. The umpire then asked for the court to be swept to remove some of the clay, as Djokovic explained the issue.
“It seems like there’s a lot of, like too much clay,” he said. “Half a metre in and half a metre out, there’s really a lot of clay.”
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