Calm Novak in Round III
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic turned the page on his contentious US Open exit and began his claycourt season with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory over wild card Salvatore Caruso in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.
Nine-time champion Rafa Nadal showed little signs of rust when he played his first match in 200 days as he beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-1.
Djokovic was disqualified in New York after accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball during his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta.
On arrival in Rome, an apologetic Djokovic vowed to be “the best version” of himself on and off the court and he kept his emotions in check against local hope Caruso.
Djokovic broke Caruso’s serve in the eighth game before serving out the opening set. Caruso dropped his serve in a see-saw third game of the second set which lasted nearly 12 minutes.
With momentum firmly on his side, top seed Djokovic broke his opponent for a third time in the match before celebrating victory by blowing kisses into the empty stands at the Foro Italico.
Teenager Lorenzo Musettistunned three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka 6-0, 7-6(2).
Among women, top seed Simona Halep beat wild card Jasime Paolini 6-3, 6-4 to move into the third round.