Djokovic survives three-set battle
Novak Djokovic showed an element of rustiness as he scrapped past a determined Nicolas Almagro to make the third round. The world number one had not played in three weeks and for a moment his record of making the quarter-finals on every occasion he has played at the Foro Italico.
Djokovic had comfortably won the first set 61 but lost the second on a tiebreaker 75. The match was delicately poised at 33 in the decider until the Serb was able to deliver his A game.
Despite a performance which he admitted was not his best, Djokovic is adamant he will back to his best in future matches this week.
“In the important moments today I did feel a little uncomfortable,” he said. “Maybe that’s from lack of playing,” I’m sure I’ll be back on track in no time.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga successfuly beat Sam Querry with a convincing second set 60 after he had won the first set tiebreaker.
David Ferrer, the Spanish seventh seed, got the better of Richard Gasquet 64 75 while Tomas Berdych overcame promising Italian youngster Matteo Donati 62 64.