Novak Djokovic beats Andrea Seppi in his opening match at Hopman Cup
Djokovic put Serbia 1-0 ahead in the mixed team event in Perth
Crowd barrier fell on the World No.1 as he signed autographs
He received treatment but was able to play in later mixed doubles match
Novak Djokovic escaped serious injury when a crowd barrier collapsed on him after his singles win at the Hopman Cup in Perth Monday.
The World No.1 had just beaten Italy’s Andreas Seppi in straight sets and was signing autographs for young fans at the side of the court.
But as they pushed forward, the barrier gave way and fell onto the Serbian star’s legs.
Clearly shaken, Djokovic went down onto his haunches with his hands on his knees before walking gingerly off court.
He canceled his post-match press conference while he received treatment, but did return later to play in the mixed doubles with Serbian teammate Ana Ivanovic.
A jet lagged Djokovic, who had only arrived in the western Australian city on Sunday evening after winning an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, later played down the incident.
“I am good,” he told gathered reporters. “It was a bit of a shock and I am glad that the children involved are okay. I am fine.”
Djokovic is using the mixed team event as preparation for his bid for a third straight Australian Open title next month.
After his 6-3 6-4 win over Seppi, Ivanovic polished off Francesca Schiavone 6-0 6-4 to make sure Serbia made a winning start to their campaign with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
The 25-year-old Djokovic showed no ill effects of his injury scare during the dead mixed doubles rubber, but he and Ivanovic were beaten 7-6 6-4 by Seppi and Schiavone.
Hosts Australia are next up for the Serbians Wednesday as Djokovic tunes up for this defense of the opening grand slam of the season.
The action gets underway in Melbourne on January 14, but Rafael Nadal, beaten by Djokovic in an epic final in 2012, has already withdrawn after being hit by a stomach virus as he recovered from a long term injury.