Novak Djokovic wins first match of 2022 at Dubai Tennis Championships

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A month on from when he was deported from Australia forward of the Australian Open, Djokovic returned to the tennis courtroom to loud cheers in Dubai for a match he has received on 5 earlier events.

And it took him only one hour and 14 minutes to wrap up the victory in opposition to 19-year-old Musetti and arrange a second-round assembly with both Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur, who play on Tuesday.

“I could not ask for a greater reception. It has been some time since I performed the final match — I could not choose a greater place to kick-start the season,” Djokovic later stated in his on-court interview.

“It was the absolute best expertise tonight and thanks very a lot on your assist and welcoming me on the courtroom the way in which you probably did.”

Djokovic turned embroiled in controversy when he arrived in Australia in January and not using a legitimate Covid-19 vaccination exemption.

He was later deported, lacking out on the prospect to defend his Australian Open title and win a record-breaking twenty first grand slam title.

As an alternative, it was Rafael Nadal who went on to achieve that feat, transferring away from Djokovic and Roger Federer on the prime of the all-time checklist for males’s grand slam singles titles.
Djokovic celebrates victory against Musetti in Dubai, his first match of 2022.

Earlier than Monday’s sport in Dubai, Djokovic informed reporters that “there was a number of feelings after I got here again from Australia, so I wanted a little bit little bit of time to mirror and to simply mentally relaxation.”

The Serbian got here out firing in opposition to Italy’s Musetti, breaking his opponent within the fourth sport of the primary set to take a 3-1 lead.

He then needed to save three break factors from 0-40 down the next sport, earlier than occurring to wrap up the primary set.

Djokovic broke Musetti as soon as once more initially of the second set to take agency management of the match, though he additionally needed to save extra break factors over the course of the set — a complete of seven over the course of the match.

A 3rd break of Musetti’s serve at 5-3 sealed the win.

“All in all, it is a straight-set win so after all I’ve to be happy with my tennis, particularly after not taking part in for two-and-a-half, nearly three months,” Djokovic stated.

“There have been moments after I performed nice, there have been moments after I made a few unforced errors in a row uncharacteristically. However it’s regular to anticipate that within the first match for some time.”

Djokovic has spent a file 361 weeks as world No. 1, however he may lose his spot on the prime of the rankings if Daniil Medvedev wins this week’s Mexican Open in Acapulco — even with a victory in Dubai.

The 34-year-old stated earlier than Monday’s sport that he can be “the primary one to congratulate” Medvedev if the Russian was to take his place as world No. 1.

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