Djokovic dodges injury as Serbia thrash
PERTH, Australia - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoWorld number one Novak Djokovic escaped serious injury in an incident with over zealous fans after helping Serbia beat Italy at the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth yesterday.
Djokovic, who only arrived in the city on the evening of Dec. 30 after winning an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, was too good for Italian Andreas Seppi, defeating him 6-3, 6-4.
After the match, Djokovic made his way to sign autographs for youngsters at the side of the court. But as fans clamored to get the Serbian star’s attention the barrier holding them back fell onto his legs.
Djokovic spent a few moments on his haunches before gingerly walking off the court and cancelling his post-match press conference to get treatment.
However the 25-year-old showed no signs of discomfort when he returned to the court for mixed doubles a short time later and played down the incident.
“I am good,” he said. “It was a bit of a shock and I am glad that the children involved are okay. I am fine.”
Yesterday’s win secured the tie for Serbia with his teammate Ana Ivanovic, the top seeds for the eight-nation event and playing the event together for the third time.
The Italians won the dead mixed doubles rubber.
Ivanovic gave the Serbians the lead with a commanding straight sets win over fellow French Open winner Francesca Schiavone in the women’s singles.
In an impressive start to her new campaign, Ivanovic won 6-0, 6-4.
“I felt like I played well,” the 2008 French Open champion said.
“I feel I have a lot more on the ball and I am playing the way I used to play before, setting up the points and using my forehand.
“The things I worked on during the off-season are paying off.”