World No.1 Novak Djokovic defeated Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 at the Dubai Tennis Championships. The Serbian ace returned with a commanding win in his first match of the year. The world’s number one player could not defend his Australian Open title and became the focus of a global story when he was deported from Australia for being unvaccinated. A month from thereon, Djokovic has now returned to the tennis court in Dubai for a tournament that he has won five times.
The crowd at the tennis court was so glad to see him and welcomed him with a standing ovation. The Serbian player took just one hour and 14 minutes to wrap the things against the teenager Musetti. Djokovic will face either Australia’s Alex de Minaur or Karen Khachanov of Russia in round two. Top-seeded Djokovic saved all seven break points that he served against the world no.58 Musetti.
Earlier in last year’s French Open, Musetti took two sets off Djokovic. But here in Dubai, the Italian wild card failed to convert good break chances while he was trailing 3-1 in the first set and 4-2 in the second. Djokovic fired against the Italian teenager and broke him in the fourth game of the first set to take a 3-1 lead. The Serbian then saved three break points from 0-40 in the following game to seal the first set.
Djokovic broke Musetti yet again at the start of the second set. He then continued to save more breakpoints and took firm control of the set. Djokovic dominated the game with a 79 percent win on his first serves. Djokovic won nine points in a row to put pressure on the 19-year-old Italian player. Djokovic produced a third break of Musetti’s serve at 5-3 to clinch the victory. The Serbian delivered 5 aces while the Italian finished with 3.
After making a return with a win, Djokovic said that he is satisfied with his tennis. The Serbian admitted that he feels happy for winning in straight sets, especially after not playing tennis for almost three months. Djokovic intimated that his peers and colleagues are very important to him as he sometimes sees them more than his family. Djokovic expressed that he greatly cares about the relationships with other players.
In another encounter, British player Andy Murray experienced the first win in Dubai since his title run in 2017. Murray defeated the Australian qualifier Christopher O’Connell 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-5 after battling it for nearly three hours.