Updated May 11th, 2024 at 23:20 IST

Novak Djokovic wins hearts by wearing a helmet after ugly bottle incident during Italian Open

Novak Djokovic returned to the Italian Open wearing a bike helmet after being hit in the head with a water bottle mere hours earlier. 

Novak Djokovic | Image:@Ubitennis/X
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Novak Djokovic returned to the Italian Open wearing a bike helmet after being hit in the head with a water bottle mere hours earlier. Djokovic, 36, received a terrible surprise on Friday while signing autographs for fans when an aluminum-type water bottle fell from a knapsack above and hit him on the head. The 6ft 2in Serbian quickly collapsed to the ground, evidently in pain.

Also Read | Novak Djokovic suffers agonizing head injury from bottle strike in Italy

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Novak Djokovic showcases class after being hit on the head during Italian Open

Security personnel rushed in to ensure Djokovic's safety, as fans at Centre Court had been leaning over the railings to have their hats and tennis balls signed. But after releasing an update on X, previously Twitter, the world No.1 was fit to resume on Saturday as he prepared for his round-of-32 match with Chilean-Canadian Alejandro Alvarez.

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"Thank you for the messages of concern," Djokovic posted. "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 arrived for practice in good spirits, donning a cycling helmet over his white cap and greeting more adoring fans in Rome. Djokovic, who is seen as a polarising character in the sport, also had social media users laughing, with one asking: "How can you not love him?"

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 A second said, "He has such a fantastic sense of humour." A third said, "This is pure class. No way he did that."

 Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Corentin Moutet, 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the third round. The 36-year-old is aiming to win his eighth Italian Open after taking a month off, prepared for his round-of-32 match with a Chilean-Canadian opponent Alejandro Alvarez.

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Published May 11th, 2024 at 23:20 IST