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Novak Djokovic defeats Arslan Karatsev at the start of the Masters in Rome – mission title number six is ​​on

Last year’s finalist from Serbia made a good start in his opening game at the ATP Masters in Rome against Karatsev.

In the Russian’s first service game, Djokovic secured the break to make it 2-0 after an aggressive start. The 34-year-old scored again and again with his backhand longline.

Karatsev then got into the game better, sought his salvation on the offensive and immediately got the rebreak in return (1: 2).

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The preliminary decision in set one was then made at a score of 4: 3 from the point of view of the world number one, when Karatsev completely missed a smash and thus gave Djokovic the next break chance. Once again, the Serb was ice cold in the decisive moments and took advantage of the opportunity to lead 5:3.

A little later, the 21-time Grand Slam champion sealed the first set on his own serve (6: 3).

Djokovic rolls over Karatsev in set two

The second round also started optimally for Djokovic. The Serb immediately put pressure on Karatsev again on his first service game. The result was three break chances for the world number one, which the Russian was initially able to fend off. However, Djokovic stayed on the trigger and shortly afterwards got his fourth break ball, which he finally converted to a 1-0 lead.

While the 34-year-old was getting stronger almost by the minute, Karatsev was now making more mistakes. The Russian had the opportunity for an immediate rebreak, similar to the first set, but unlike at the start of the game, he missed his chance this time – and this should have consequences.

The Australian Open semi-finalist from 2021 now completely lost the thread and a little later conceded the next break to 0: 3 from his point of view. Djokovic, on the other hand, presented himself confidently and did not allow anything with his own service.

Djokovic: Duel with Wawrinka beckons

For Karatsev, on the other hand, it was all about avoiding the maximum penalty in the second sentence. After the Russian had to fend off another breakball when the score was 0:4, he still managed to hold his serve after a big fight (1:4).

The 28-year-old’s great strength, the return game, did not come into its own throughout the game. The five-time winner from Rome then made short work of it and a little later, after a total of 1:30 hours, converted his first match ball to a clear 6:3, 6:2 win.

In the round of 16, Djokovic meets either compatriot Laslo Djere or three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland), who celebrated his first win on the ATP tour in 15 years against American Reilly Opelka on Monday.

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