“No rhythm, no tempo, no balance” – Djokovic on his performance v Tabilo 

Novak Djokovic said he will have some more medical tests after his poor performance on Sunday

Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic in Rome (Alessandra Tarantino/AP/SIPA)
Internazionali BNL d'Italia •Third round • completed
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Although he was quick to start his press conference by congratulating Alejandro Tabilo, the man who knocked him out of Rome in straight sets, Novak Djokovic admitted that he did not feel like his usual self on court.

The natural concern now is that he may have suffered longer-lasting effects from the accidental knock to the head he took on Friday when a fan’s water bottle fell from the stands and struck him.

“Training was different – I was going for kind of easy training yesterday,” the 36-year-old told reporters. “I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.

“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.”

Djokovic: It’s a bit concerning

Djokovic had brushed off the worries on Friday, posting on social media that he was resting with an ice pack, but he gave more details to the journalists in Rome, saying he had experienced “nausea, dizziness, blood, a lot of different things”.

He added: “I managed to sleep okay. I had headaches. The next day or yesterday was pretty fine, so I thought it’s okay. Maybe it is okay. Maybe it’s not.

“I mean, the way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, no balance whatsoever on any shot. It’s a bit concerning.”

Djokovic’s lack of match practice on clay – missing Barcelona and Madrid and now an early defeat in Rome – does not bode well for his chances of winning either Roland-Garros or the Olympics on the same courts, he admitted.

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said of the next Grand Slam.

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