ATP Dubai: Novak Djokovic released after his first match of the 2022 season against Lorenzo Musetti

We had to go back to November 20 to find the trace of Novak Djokovic’s last official match. Three months after his defeat in the semi-finals of the Masters against Alexander Zverev (7-6, 4-6, 6-3), the world number one, who was expelled from Australia on the eve of the start of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, played again in Dubai and won his first match of the year against Lorenzo Musetti (6-3, 6-3), after 1h14 of play.

The Serb, opposed to the winner of the Karen Khachanov-Alex De Minaur match in the second round, expressed his great satisfaction at having been able to return to the court on Monday. “I must say that the welcome was excellent. It warmed my heartfirst dropped the Serb at a press conference, according to comments reported by L’Equipe. With everything that happened, I didn’t know how it was going to be for me on the pitch, and how I was going to feel..”

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I’m very happy with how I managed to keep my nerves

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Novak Djokovic does not hide it: he notably relied on his experience to turn the match on his side despite the heavy context which surrounded him. “I’m very happy with how I managed to keep my nerves. I know that I can always do better in terms of tennis qualitieshe admitted. Overall, it was a very positive experience in terms of feeling, playing, atmosphere on the pitch. Dubai is a perfect place for me to start, with a Serbian community in the stands and also an international crowd supporting me. They exceeded my best expectations in terms of atmosphere.”

Congratulations to Rafa, he is an incredible fighter

During this press conference, the Serb returned to the coronation of Rafael Nadal in Melbourne. “The Australian Open final, I was trying not to watch it, but I had my family watching, everyone, my wife, my kids, so I had to watch itdid he declare. But congratulations to Rafa. It’s an incredible performance. He’s an amazing fighter. I don’t want to take anything away from his victory even though I didn’t participate. Of course, it was not pleasant for me to leave the country like that and watch the tournament from afar.”

“It’s a match between Djokovic and covid. Everything will depend on the health situation”

The nine-time winner of the Australian Open knows, however, that his reputation has taken a hit, he who went so far as to consult professionals in public relations to understand his situation, which went beyond the framework of sport to extend to politics. “Obviously, there haven’t been many positive articles about this whole situation over the past month. I think things may be changing. I hope so. But I understand that there is still speculation and people are wondering“, he indicated.

Novak Djokovic, who can lose his place as world number one by February 28, will return to the Dubai court on Wednesday. Once again, his performance will be watched very closely.

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