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Novak Djokovic hit in head by water bottle, needed medical attention after opening win at Italian Open

Novak Djokovic hit in head by water bottle, needed medical attention after opening win at Italian Open

Italian Open organizers said a water bottle accidentally fell out of a fan’s backpack while they were trying to reach down to get Novak Djokovic’s autograph on Friday in Rome. (Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic went down after getting hit in the head by a water bottle while greeting fans after a win at the Italian Open on Friday.

Djokovic, after beating Coretin Moutet in his opening match at the event, was greeting fans on the court in Rome. A fan leaned over the railing to hand him a notebook to get his autograph when an “aluminum-type water bottle” fell out of the fan's backpack and drilled Djokovic on his head, organizers told The Associated Press.

Djokovic quickly fell to the ground and grabbed his head, clearly in pain, before he was eventually helped down the tunnel and into the locker room.

The incident was described as an accident by local organizers.

Djokovic had a bump on his head and was being checked out by doctors after his match. It’s unclear how bad his head injury is.

Djokovic, the top-ranked player in the world, has not competed since he fell to Casper Ruud in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters last month. He’s won the Italian Open six times in his career, but he’s reached May without winning a title this season for the first time since 2018.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion beat Moutet 6-3, 6-1 in his opening match. He is set to take on Alejandro Tabilo in the next round.

“I haven’t practiced with a lefty in a while, so it took me a little bit of time to adjust to the different rotation on the balls,” Djokovic said, via The Associated Press. “The first four games were quite bad for me. … Corentin is a very talented player. He has great hands and [is] very unpredictable. You don’t know what comes up next. So I had to stay focused, which I did. So it’s a good opening match.”

After the Italian Open, Djokovic will turn his attention to the French Open later this month where he'll attempt to defend his title. Djokovic beat Ruud in the final last year to claim his 23rd Grand Slam win — which was one of three that he won last year. He fell to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final.

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