‘I feel confident about the game’: Novak Djokovic happy to move on from US Open drama as he warms up for French Open

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Novak Djokovic expressed his relief at moving on from his controversial US Open disqualification as he picked up a victory in his first match at the Italian Open on Wednesday.

Djokovic kicked off his 2020 clay-court campaign with a straight-sets victory over Italian wildcard Salvatore Caruso 6-3, 6-2 to progress to the third round of the tournament in Rome.

After the match, the world No. 1 admitted that he was pleased to move on with his career and to just get back to playing tennis again following a turbulent couple of weeks.

“I wouldn’t say I recovered happiness… because I’m happy regardless of tennis,” he said.

“I was actually looking forward to an official match as soon as possible after what happened in New York as I feel the sentiment on court needs to be positive.”

While Djokovic lost his cool at Flushing Meadows against Pabro Carreno Busta, he had no such issues in Roma as he cruised to victory without facing a single break point during a dominant display.

“I didn’t feel any emotional or mental blockages or any drama playing a match today. I felt very comfortable,” Djokovic said.

“Caruso was a very good test for me. I was very pleased how I handled myself in important moments of the match.”

Djokovic marked the start of the week in Rome by declaring that he would try to be “the best version” of himself, both on and off the court. But his character wasn’t remotely tested against Caruso, and it remains to be seen how he will react when he faces more on-court adversity further down the line.

Djokovic’s record this year is an outstanding one, with the Serb winning 27 of his 28 matches so far this year, and will undoubtedly be one of the favorites to capture the men’s singles title at the French Open, which kicks off on Sept. 27 at Roland Garros.

“Regardless the change of surface, I feel confident about the game,” he said.

“Hopefully I can build that stride more and more as I move deeper in the tournament and prior to Roland Garros, obviously.”

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