Novak Djokovic opened the Australian Open comeback with a first round win

Melbourne, Australia – Supporting banners, dozens of Serbian flags and loud cheers Novak DjokovicHe crammed Rod Laver Enviornment, giving a standing ovation marking his return to the Australian Open – a match he as soon as dominated however was unable to enter a yr in the past.

Djokovic admitted to welcoming a fast left-hander when he took to the court docket at 10:30pm on Tuesday, then set to work by enjoying effectively and solely briefly displaying a touch of bother from his left hamstring. strongly registered.

He began the primary spherical match with a 125 mph jab and love, took management of that 12-point set and was on his option to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over 75. Roberto Karpeles Baena which ended after midnight.

“Unbelievable environment,” Djokovic informed the gang in an on-court interview. “Thanks a lot for staying up late, everybody. Additionally, thanks for giving me such a welcome and reception that I can solely dream of.” I am very pleased to be again in Australia and again right here on the court docket the place I’ve had the most important success of my profession. ”

Djokovic’s participation is likely one of the highlights of the primary Grand Slam match of 2023. It’s because Djokovic, 35, didn’t play a degree final season at Melbourne Park, the positioning of 9 of his main tournaments, as a result of his visa was banned and he was deported from Australia after the epic legally associated to not having any vaccine towards COVID-19.

He by no means obtained the pictures and in addition missed the US Open due to it. However the Australian authorities has since eased coronavirus-related restrictions, permitting Djokovic to return to the nation, and in addition waived a rule that would have barred him from coming into for 3 years after the visa was revoked. He has insisted that all the episode in January 2022 affected him deeply however he doesn’t maintain a grudge; There definitely did not appear to be any onerous emotions for him on Tuesday.

This wasn’t essentially in Djokovic’s greatest type, and he appeared to indicate some frustration early on as he saved yelling and muttering at coach Goran Ivanisevic and the remainder of his entourage within the stands. However Djokovic produced a tennis ball robust sufficient to take step one in the direction of what he hopes might be his twenty second Grand Slam title to tie his opponent. Rafael NadalThe document for probably the most quantity within the historical past of tennis by a person.

Djokovic, who has spent extra weeks at primary within the ATP rankings than anybody else, additionally has an opportunity to return to that place after the subsequent two weeks. the one who at present occupies that seat, Carlos AlcarazHe missed the Australian Open because of a leg harm.

Within the match that ended after 1 am, the second seed, the two-time finalist Casper Streetbypass Thomas Meshack 6-3, 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-3.

earlier within the day, Andrey Rublev Beat the wild card entry Dominic Tim 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second spherical.

Thiem, runner-up on the Australian Open in 2020 and winner of the US Open the identical yr, missed 2021 because of accidents however has recovered from outdoors the highest 350 final yr to a spot inside the highest 100. College entry by match organizers.

“While you see that it’s a must to play towards Dominic, you already know it is not going to be simple. I do know he is going by means of some robust instances, so I want him all the perfect to get again to the extent he might be as rapidly as doable,” stated Rublev.

Rublev will subsequent play Australia within the qualifiers Max Purcell or Emil Rossovory Finland.

Thiem had a remedy for his abs halfway by means of the second set however stated it wasn’t critical and he wasn’t discouraged by his efficiency.

“This match would not change something, as a result of I confronted a extremely robust opponent,” he stated. “I hope I can enhance the outcomes on the South American clay.”

later tuesday, Britain’s Andy Murray35, achieved his largest victory in years 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (10-6) throughout greater than 4 1/2 hours towards Matteo Berettini.

“I am going to really feel it – this night and tomorrow,” stated Murray. “However for the time being I’m very pleased. Very happy with myself.”

This was the three-time primary champion’s first victory over a top-20 opponent in a Grand Slam match since 2017.

Will meet Murray subsequent Thansi Kokkinakis or Fabio Fognini. Their match tonight with Kokkinakis is about 5 factors in need of successful.

Grigor DimitrovHe received the semifinals in Melbourne in 2017 Aslan Karatsev 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-2. He’ll take it upon himself Laszlo Djer Within the second spherical.

Among the many different males who got here ahead on Tuesday was No. 8 Taylor Fritzquantity 9 Holger Ron and quantity 12 Alexander Zverev.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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