Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, is out of the Italian Open after a 2-6, 3-6 defeat to world No 32 Alejandro Tabilo.

Tabilo, coming off the back of a title at the Challenger 175 in Aix-en-Provence, France, played without fear throughout, capitalising on an uncharacteristically errant serving performance from the Serb.

“I was just trying to keep my nerves,” Tabilo said. “You feel like you’re closer to the end, your arm starts to get a little tighter… It’s crazy. I can’t believe what just happened.”

Djokovic, who was accidentally struck on the head by a metal water bottle after defeating Corentin Moutet on Friday night, made only 48 per cent of his first serves in the opening set, and had to defend five break points. Tabilo converted two, both with stunning groundstrokes, one from either wing. Tabilo was also much more confident behind his own second serve, winning six out of seven points he had to play on it.

After the match, Djokovic refused to attribute the loss to the incident, but said that his coordination on court was poorer than he had expected.

“Today under high stress, it was quite bad, not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.”

Though service points were reasonably even, Tabilo winning 32 to Djokovic’s 30, the Chilean won 20 points on return, compared to just 10 from the world No 1.

Tabilo then used his momentum to break in the first game of the second set, and held his nerve to pull off the biggest win of his career to date.

Djokovic double-faulted on match point, to compound his service misery. He looked listless for much of the match, rarely showing emotion, and possibly betraying his relative lack of care for tournaments that aren’t Grand Slams and the Olympics at this stage in his career.

Tabilo will face Russian world No 18 Karen Khachanov in the next round, while Djokovic looks ahead to the French Open, where he is the defending champion, which begins next Monday.

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(Silvia Lore/Getty Images)

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