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Djokovic cruises past Karatsev in Rome opener

The Serb will play either Laslo Djere or Stan Wawrinka in the third round

Nocak Djokovic R2 Rome 2022 AI / Reuters / Panoramic

ATP Rome 1000 | Draws | Schedule

World No 1 Novak Djokovic began his quest for a sixth Rome Masters title with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory over Aslan Karatsev in the second round at the Foro Italico on Tuesday.

The Serb let slip an early break of serve lead in the first set but soon reasserted his authority, breaking in the opening game of the second set and pulling away for victory.

He’ll play either Laslo Djere of Serbia or three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the third round.

On a warm day in the Italian capital, Djokovic began strongly, breaking the Karatsev serve to lead 2-0 but gave the break straight back as the world No 35 levelled at 2-2.

But that was as good as it got for last year’s Australian Open semi-finalist as Djokovic eased through the rest of the set.

The top seed broke in the first game of the second set and once he saved a break point in the following game, it was plain sailing for Djokovic, who is still chasing his first title of 2022.

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