Novak Djokovic turned the page on his contentious U.S. Open exit and began his clay-court season with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over wildcard Salvatore Caruso in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.
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 in an imperious display against the unseeded local hope.
“Obviously I had an early exit (at the U.S. Open) so had more time to prepare,” Djokovic said courtside. “I did practice for a week now and tried to play some sets coming into this ATP 1000 match. “Caruso is a claycourt specialist and it was a great challenge today.”
Meanwhile on Tuesday, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka was beaten 6-0, 7-6(2) by teenager Lorenzo Musetti, who won for the first time on the professional circuit.
Important results: Men: Second round: Novak Djokovic bt Salvatore Caruso 6-3, 6-2; Matteo Berrettini bt Federico Coria 7-5, 6-1; Marin Cilic bt David Goffin 6-2, 6-2; Jannik Sinner bt Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-7 (9), 6-2. First round: Lorenzo Musetti bt Stan Wawrinka 6-0, 7-6(2); Milos Raonic bt Adrian Mannarino 7-6(3), 6-2.
Women: Second round: Simona Halep bt Jasmine Paolini 6-3, 6-4; Danka Kovinic bt Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-1; Elise Mertens bt Magda Linette 6-2, 6-4.
First round: Victoria Azarenka bt Venus Williams 7-6(7), 6-2.