Novak Djokovic suffers heavy defeat to Alejandro Tabilo in Rome

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open after suffering a comprehensive defeat to world number 32 Alejandro Tabilo in Rome.

Chile’s Tabilo took full advantage of an error-strewn performance from world number one Djokovic to storm to a one-sided 6-2 6-3 victory in just 67 minutes.

Seeking the 1,100th win of his career, Djokovic committed 22 unforced errors, served five double faults and failed to create a single break point on his left-handed opponent’s serve.

The tone for the contest was set early on when Djokovic saved three break points in the opening game, two with aces and the third with a sublime drop shot from behind the baseline, only to serve a double fault after Tabilo created a fourth break point opportunity.

Two brilliant winners then gave Tabilo a second break for 3-0 and the 26-year-old showed no signs of nerves as he served out for the set with the minimum of fuss after just 31 minutes.

Fans expecting a determined response from Djokovic were in for a shock when he instead started the second set with consecutive double faults to lose his serve once more, the 24-time grand slam winner strangely rushing through his service games.

Tabilo continued to hold serve with ease and fittingly it was another Djokovic double fault on the first match point which sealed the biggest win of 29th seed’s career to date.

“I came on court just looking around, just trying to soak it all in, trying to process everything and now I just can’t believe it. I’m trying to wake up right now,” Tabilo said in an on-court interview broadcast on Sky Sports.

“I was just trying to keep my nerves in, keep swinging. Obviously every time you feel you’re closer to the end your arm starts to get a little tighter so I was just trying to not think about it, take it point by point and it’s crazy.

“I can’t believe what just happened.”


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