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Novak Djokovic admitted today’s conditions at Foro Italico were some of the toughest he has ever played in.
The world no.2 beat Radek Stepanek 6-3 7-5 on Centre court.
But just as tough as his opponent was battling the wind and spitting rain on day four of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
He said: “They were some of the most difficult conditions I’ve played in my life.
“To play when it’s very wind on the court, especially on clay, the clay comes into your eyes. It was very difficult to get any kind of rhythm.
“Stepanek is a very experienced player, so that’s why I had to be super-focused every game because I know he has this variety of shots.
“It was a little bit frustrating when I drop the serve twice in the second, but the positive is that I managed to stay mentally tough until the end and win.
With a day’s break before he plays his third-round match Djokovic is looking to make use of his time on Wednesday.
He added: “I am going to try tomorrow, which is my day off, to have some practice.
“Work on my baseline shots and hopefully get more consistency from the bas line because the clay court is different from the hard court.
“You need to be more patient, you need to construct the point. I expected to be a little bit rusty on the court, the conditions didn’t help, but generally it was a good win.”
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