Novak Djokovic shook off pre-match fatigue as he defeated Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 on Monday to help Serbia beat Italy 2-1 at the Hopman Cup on Monday, with the only scare coming after the match as he signed autographs courtside.
Djokovic arrived in Perth less than 24 hours before he stepped on court, but still had a straight-sets win to add to Ana Ivanovic‘s earlier 6-0, 6-4 victory over Francesca Schiavone, giving Serbia a win in the group-stage clash of the mixed teams event.
After the match, Djokovic was signing autographs when a crowd barrier collapsed, hitting the Serb on his legs and sending several fans tumbling. Djokovic squatted for a while in discomfort but later took to the court for the mixed doubles, in which Italy won 7-6 (4), 6-4.
”It was a bit of a shock and I’m glad that the children involved are OK. I am fine,” said Djokovic, who was more concerned about his physical state before the match due to jetlag.
”I arrived quite late last night and didn’t get long hours of sleep and felt this morning like I’m dream-walking,” Djokovic said.
”But as the match went on I was managing to get my rhythm. I broke the ice after the first set and felt a little bit better.”
A break to lead 2-0 gave him the perfect start but he later struggled to hold for 5-2. In the second set a double-fault gave Djokovic a break to lead 3-2, but he again struggled to maintain his lead and had to fight off a further four break points at 4-3 before completing his victory.
Earlier, Ivanovic faced the challenge of two break points in the opening game and it took her five break points to establish a 2-0 lead, but then she looked aggressive and confident as she swept through the remainder of the first set.