Novak Djokovic wins first match after US Open disqualification

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic returned to action after his US Open disqualification with a convincing second-round win over Salvatore Caruso at the Italian Open.

Djokovic, 33, beat wildcard Caruso 6-3 6-2 in Rome to begin his French Open preparations on a positive note.

The world number one was disqualified in New York after accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball during a match against Pablo Carreno Busta.

Action in the main draw at Roland Garros begins on 27 September.

Number two seed Rafael Nadal, whose last competitive match was more than six months ago, also cruised into the last 16 as he beat US Open semi-finalist Carreno Busta 6-1 6-1 after being given a first-round bye.

Nadal skipped the US Open over safety and scheduling concerns, but showed little signs of rust in Rome.

“It’s good to be back on the tour but obviously the feeling is not the best playing without crowds,” he said. “At least there’s one positive thing, the sport is back.”

The 34-year-old added: “I played a good match. Maybe he was a little bit tired from New York [where] he played an amazing tournament.”

Before the Italian Open, Djokovic said he must “move on” from the controversy at Flushing Meadows – but added that he may never forget the incident.

The Serb also vowed to be “the best version” of himself on and off the court and he kept his emotions in check to defeat Italian Caruso in one hour 24 minutes.

Four-time Italian Open champion Djokovic, who received an opening-round bye, broke Caruso’s serve in the eighth game before serving out the opening set.

Caruso, who overcame American Tennys Sandgren in the opening round for his first ATP Masters 1000 match win, dropped his serve in the second set’s third game, which lasted nearly 12 minutes.

Top seed Djokovic proved too strong for the home hopeful and broke his opponent for a third time in the match before celebrating victory by blowing kisses to the empty stands at the Foro Italico.

Meanwhile,

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BBC Sport – Tennis

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