Tennis: Fans hurt Djokovic after autograph session mishap

A corporate box facia gives way as spectators surge to get an autograph from Novak Djokovic. Photo / Getty Images
A corporate box facia gives way as spectators surge to get an autograph from Novak Djokovic. Photo / Getty Images

World No.1 Novak Djokovic escaped serious injury despite copping the brunt of a falling barrier while signing autographs at the Hopman Cup in Perth on Monday.

Djokovic was mixing with fans after defeating Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3 6-4 when drama struck at the new $AU550 million Perth Arena.

With numerous people squeezed up and leaning over in their bid to get Djokovic's autograph, the hoarding holding them back toppled over and collected the Serbian's legs in the process.

Djokovic crouched on the ground in pain after the incident before limping back to the players' lounge to receive treatment.

However, the 25-year-old was give the all-clear by medical staff, and was in good spirits when he teamed with Ana Ivanovic in Serbia's 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 mixed-doubles loss to Italy.

Serbia still won the tie 2-1 after singles wins to both Djokovic and Ivanovic.

"It was a bit of a shock and I am glad that the children involved are OK. I am fine," Djokovic said of the injury scare.

The incident capped a turbulent 24 hours for Djokovic, who only arrived in Perth on Sunday evening after winning an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

The lengthy flight over and the four-hour time difference didn't seem to faze Djokovic, who always looked on control against Seppi.

"I arrived quite late last night and didn't get a lot of sleep," Djokovic told the crowd shortly before he got hit by the toppling barrier.

"I felt like I was dream walking this morning.

"But as the match went on, I was managing to get my rhythm."

Earlier in the day, Ivanovic was in dominant touch in her 6-0 6-4 win over Francesca Schiavone.

With the temperature in Perth nudging past 40C during Djokovic's match, the arena's roof was closed during the men's singles rubber.

But the women weren't as lucky, with Ivanovic and Schiavone forced to slug it out in 36C heat during their contest.

Ivanovic thrived under the hot conditions, breaking Schiavone three times in the opening set and unleashing a flurry of winners in the 70-minute contest.

"That's the style of game I always had and I always was an aggressive player," Ivanovic said.

"I try to dominate and step in and take risks sometimes.

"It doesn't always go your way, but that's the way I have to play and it worked well for me today and it gives me confidence.

"I got a little bit of momentum going.

"I felt like I played well so I got a few fist pumps going."

Meanwhile, world No.112 Tatjana Malek has been locked in as a replacement for Germany's Andrea Petkovic, who was forced to pull out of the mixed teams' event with a knee injury.

-AAP

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