Novak Djokovic described his shock third-round elimination from the Rome Open by outsider Alejandro Tabilo on Sunday as “concerning”, two days after he was hit on the head by a bottle which he said has caused nausea and dizzy spells. Djokovic’s bid for a record-extending 41st Masters 1000 title was ended in just over an hour by Chilean Tabilo, who is ranked 32nd in the world and claimed his first win over a top-10 opponent, 6-2, 6-3. The 24-time Grand Slam winner said that his subdued performance on a court where he has won six titles might have been due to the blow suffered while greeting fans on Friday night.

He had initially laughed off being accidentally struck on the head by a hard bottle following his straightforward second-round win over Corentin Moutet, by wearing a cycling crash helmet to training on Saturday morning.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that. Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same,” Djokovic told reporters.

“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 also said that he would have scans to “see what’s going on” before the French Open after admitting to having headaches, nausea and dizziness on Friday night.

“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes,” added Djokovic. “It’s a bit concerning.”

Djokovic’s early elimination is a blow for the last major tournament before Roland Garros later this month, which started without Italian world number two Jannik Sinner and third-ranked Carlos Alcaraz.

Home fans have also been deprived of cheering on former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Musetti, while Djokovic’s great clay-court rival Rafael Nadal, a big crowd favourite, was dumped out in the second round on Saturday by seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz.

But Tabilo was a worthy winner after tearing into his superstar opponent, racing into a 4-0 lead in the first set in less than 20 minutes, breaking Djokovic twice and surprising the Serb with a series of impressive winners.

The Chilean claimed the opening set in half an hour, leaving fans sat under the baking Rome sunshine stunned at the off-form Djokovic.

He immediately broke Djokovic for the third time in the opening game of the second set and went on to claim the biggest win of his career in remarkable style, hitting 22 winners, making just four unforced errors and not facing a single break point.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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