Novak Djokovic was left crouched on the ground in pain as the bottle hit him on the head.© X (Twitter)

Novak Djokovic was left in agony after being struck with a hard plastic water bottle as he left the court following his 6-3, 6-1 win over France’s Corentin Moutet at the Rome Open which advanced him to the third round on Friday. World number one Djokovic was left crouched on the ground in pain as the bottle hit him on the back of the head as he was signing autographs for fans while he exited the centre court at the Foro Italico. Djokovic was then led from the arena on foot by security staff who covered the 24-time Grand Slam winner while he made his way into the bowels of the stands.

In a video of the incident published by Italian media it is not clear whether the hard reusable bottle was launched deliberately from the stands or fell accidentally onto Djokovic’s head.

Tournament organisers did not respond to AFP’s request for an update on Djokovic’s condition, but should he be OK he will face Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo next as the Serb warms up for the French Open with a great chance to add to his array of titles at the Foro Italico, where only Rafael Nadal has won more with 10.

The top seed, who turns 37 a few days before Roland Garros gets underway later this month, easily won his first match since losing to Casper Ruud in the semi-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Djokovic has made no secret in the past that he loves playing in Italy and with a clutch of big names either out injured or struggling he will fancy his chances of a record-extending 41st Masters 1000 crown.

Djokovic insisted he was “fine” and ready to play Sunday.

“Thank you for the messages of concern,” Djokovic wrote Saturday on X, the former Twitter. “This was an accident and I am fine resting at the hotel with an ice pack. See you all on Sunday.”

The Rome tournament, which runs until May 19, is missing two of its biggest stars with Italian world number two Jannik Sinner and third-ranked Carlos Alcaraz both withdrawing from the men’s draw before the start.

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