Skip to main content

Djokovic eases ankle fears with comfortable win in Rome

May 14, 2013 -- Updated 2343 GMT (0743 HKT)
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki suffered yet another first round exit as she was beaten by Bojana Jovanovski in Rome.
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki suffered yet another first round exit as she was beaten by Bojana Jovanovski in Rome.
  • Djokovic and Federer put Madrid behind them as they cruise into Italian Open third round
  • Serb allays ankle fears as he prepares for 'important period'
  • Agnieszka Radwanska headlines fall of three seeds in womens event

(CNN) -- World number one Novak Djokovic eased any concerns over his ankle injury with a comprehensive win over Albert Montanes as the Serb eyes his third title at the Italian Open.

The 2008 and 2011 champion twisted his right ankle in a Davis Cup match last month before appearing to damage it again in last week's Madrid Open defeat to Grigor Dimitrov.

Read: Djokovic shocked by 'Baby Federer'

At Foro Italico however, Djokovic needed just 70 minutes to rally from an early break to beat qualifier Montanes 6-2 6-3.

The six-time grand slam winner says the display is a step on the road to performing at this month's French Open as well as at Wimbledon in June.

"It was a good performance, even though I know I can do better," Djokovic, who has reached the Rome final four times in the last five years, told reporters.

"I know my game has to be better in order to win my next challenge. But I'm heading in a good way because I didn't have a great week in Madrid and didn't have much practice.

Maharajas play host
Tennis Tips: Recovery footwork
On the court with 'Baby Federer'
Little girl takes on tennis giants

"I came here very early; from Wednesday I spent a lot of hours on the court working hard, trying to prepare myself for what's coming up this week and also after the tournament in Rome -- two Grand Slams in less than a month's time.

"It's a very important period for all of us and I need to be physically, mentally, fresh and fit and I think I'm on the right way to be like that."

The French Open gets underway in Paris on May 26 and finishes on June 9, just over a fortnight before the start of the Wimbledon championships.

Read: Federer stunned by Nishikori

Federer, whose return to action in Madrid after a two-month break ended with a third-round loss to Japan's Kei Nishikori, also eased through to the third round after beating Italian wild card Potito Starace 6-1 6-2.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams gained some family revenge when beating Laura Robson, who knocked sister Venus out in the first round, in straight sets.

The world number one's comfortable day against the rising Briton was in stark contrast to many of her seeded colleagues, three of whom crashed out on Tuesday.

Poland's fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska was the highest to fall, losing 6-7 6-1 6-2 to Simona Halep of Romania in the second round, but she may have gained some consolation by seeing sister Urszula inflict defeat on 15th seed Ana Ivanovic.

Tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark also failed in her bid to reach the second round, as the former world number one let slip a 5-2 lead against 48th-ranked Bojana Jovanovski in a third set tiebreak.

The girlfriend of golfer Rory McIlroy has struggled on clay this season, exiting in the first round in both Spain and Germany over the last month, and now succumbing at the first hurdle once again.

Jovanovski, 21, ended a poor run of form as the Serb claimed her first victory since the Australian Open in January.

2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova became the first woman into the third round as she beat Germany's Sabine Lisicki in another match that went to three sets.

Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.