Tennis

Novak Djokovic dons bike helmet day after being hit in head by water bottle

Novak Djokovic showed his sense of humour by arriving at the Italian Open wearing a bike helmet just 24 hours after being struck on the head by a water bottle.

Following a second-round victory over Corentin Moutet in Rome on Friday, world No 1 Djokovic suffered an “accidental” blow to his head from a plastic bottle as he made his way off the court and collapsed to the ground in pain.

The 36-year-old would later confirm he was unharmed and proved that he had seen the funny side by posting a video of himself arriving at the venue to train on Saturday donning a protective bike helmet. The post on social media shows him signing autographs in the headwear, accompanied by the quip, “Today I came prepared.”

Having beaten lucky loser Moutet in straight sets on Friday to move into the third round in Rome, Djokovic was struck as he headed off court and fell to the ground for more than half a minute before he returned to his feet, flanked by multiple officials, and then headed to the medical centre at the Foro Italico.

A statement from the Italian Open read: “Novak Djokovic has been accidentally hit by a bottle while signing autographs after his 6-3, 6-1 win against France’s Corentin Moutet at the Italian Open.

“This is not being treated as a deliberate act, but as an accident. A boy was calling out to get an autograph and the bottle fell out of his bag. Novak has been taken to the medical centre.”

Organisers later issued an update which read: “He has undergone the necessary checks and has already left the Foro Italico to return to his hotel. His condition is not a cause for concern.”

In a post on Twitter/X later that day, Djokovic confirmed he was “fine” and thanked fans for their support.

He said: “Thank you for the messages of concern. This was an accident and I am fine resting at the hotel with an ice pack. See you all on Sunday.”

The 24-time grand slam champion, who is yet to win a title of any description so far this season, will be in third-round action against 29th seed Alejandro Tabilo on Sunday as he looks to move closer to ending that drought but presumably won’t be wearing the helmet on court.

Additional reporting by PA

Xural.com

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