World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is officially back in action following his controversy-fuelled deportation from Australia in January.
Djokovic on Monday reached the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships when he beat wildcard entry Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-3.
The victory marked the Serb’s first match of 2022.
Djokovic said on Monday since his victory had been a straight-sets win, he felt satisfied with how he had played. He said especially after he hadn’t played for three months, he would have expected a couple of unforced errors.
Djokovic had won the Dubai title five times, and came onto the court to loud cheers and a standing ovation from the audience, which had been overflowing with Serbian flags. Despite a slow and clearly rusty start, the world No. 1 kept his Italian opponent in check by dominating from inside the baseline. He flicked in champion’s fashion between offense and defense all throughout the match, which served as a reminder once more of his incredible talent as a tennis player.
This week, meanwhile, marks a crucial time for the Serb, with his position as world No. 1 under serious threat from Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. In the event that Medvedev manages to equal or better Djokovic’s result this week while competing in the Mexican Open in Acapulco, he stands to overtake the world No. 1 on Monday.
Andy Murray, too, reached the second round in Dubai after he defeated qualifier Christopher O’Connell 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 in a challenging 2h 51 minutes first-round contest.
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