Djokovic begins Dubai campaign in style, beats Italy’s Musetti
Dubai, Feb. 22 (IANS): World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic overcame world No. 58 Lorenzo Musetti of Italy 6-3, 6-3 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in his first match of the season following the deportation fiasco during the Australian Open in Januray.
The match proved easier than the Serbian’s previous meeting with the 19-year-old Musetti, which came in the fourth round of the French Open last year. In that encounter, the Italian was forced to retire in the fifth set after holding a two-sets-to-love lead. Djokovic, eventually, went on to clinch the title in Paris.
“All in all, it’s a straight-sets win, so of course I have to be satisfied with my tennis, especially after not playing for two-and-a-half, three months,” Djokovic was quoted as saying by atptour.com.
“Of course, there were moments when I played great; there were moments when I made a couple of unforced errors in a row uncharacteristically. But it’s normal to expect that (in my) first match after a while.
“I’m glad that I managed to finish out the job tonight in straight sets against a very talented player from Italy who possesses a lot of quality. Of course, he didn’t have much to lose and in windy conditions (it was) a bit tricky to play. But all in all, a very, very pleasant experience for me,” added Djokovic.
“I was fortunate to find the right serves on those break points I faced in the sixth game of the second set. That gave me huge relief obviously for the rest of the match.”
It was the 37-time ATP Masters 1000 winner’s first outing of 2022 and he sealed victory in 74 minutes with the help of 13 winners including five aces.
The 34-year-old Djokovic needs to perform strongly this week to give himself the best chance to retain his No. 1 ATP rank, which is under threat from Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. The Serb’s second-round opponent will be either Russian Karen Khachanov or Australian Alex de Minaur.