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WATCH—Unable to close out Fritz in Rome rain, Djokovic vents to umpire
"How much do you wanna play?," Djokovic inquired with a raised voice after the American leveled for 5-5 in their second set Tuesday. "I asked you three times, you are not checking anything."
Published May 11, 2021
With rain falling Tuesday, defending Rome champion Novak Djokovic served for his second-round match up 6-3, 5-4 on Taylor Fritz. But instead of getting into the locker room with an opening win, Djokovic was broken when Fritz finished off a terrific game with a backhand pass to level for 5-all.
The world No. 1 immediately reacted by venting to the chair umpire about not stopping the match earlier due to the worsening conditions.
"How much do you wanna play?," Djokovic inquired with a raised voice. "I asked you three times, you are not checking anything."
The contest was soon suspended and after about three hours, finally resumed. Djokovic would ultimately shut the door for a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory, adding to his five-set win over the American in the third round of February's Australian Open.
Meanwhile, Diego Schwartzman, who finished runner-up to Djokovic at 2020's September-staged final, saw his recent struggles endure.
A semifinalist at Roland Garros last year, Schwartzman has gone winless at all three of the European red clay Masters 1000 stops. Felix Auger-Aliassime dominated the No. 8 seed, 6-1, 6-3, by breaking five times from six opportunities.
"I think he was struggling to find openings on the court. I took advantage of that," said the Canadian. "I kept going for my shot with no hesitation."
The beatdown added to Schwartzman's defeats to Casper Ruud in Monte Carlo and Aslan Karatsev last week in Madrid. Auger-Aliassime is now 4-3 with Toni Nadal in his corner.
Elsewhere, Madrid runner-up Matteo Berrettini battled back to eliminate Nikoloz Basilashvili, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, joining countryman Lorenzo Sonego in the second round. Celebrating his 26th birthday, Sonego outlasted No. 14 seed Gael Monfils, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.