Melbourne, Australia – Supporting banners, dozens of Serbian flags and loud cheers Novak DjokovicHe stuffed Rod Laver Enviornment, giving a standing ovation marking his return to the Australian Open – a event 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 courtroom 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 technique to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over 75. Roberto Karpeles Baena which ended after midnight.
“Unimaginable environment,” Djokovic advised the group 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 glad to be again in Australia and again right here on the courtroom 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 event of 2023. It is because Djokovic, 35, didn’t play a degree final season at Melbourne Park, the location 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 likewise missed the US Open due to it. However the Australian authorities has since eased coronavirus-related restrictions, permitting Djokovic to come back to the nation, and likewise waived a rule that would have barred him from getting into for 3 years after the visa was revoked. He has insisted that your complete episode in January 2022 affected him deeply however he doesn’t maintain a grudge; There actually did not appear to be any onerous emotions for him on Tuesday.
This wasn’t essentially in Djokovic’s finest type, and he appeared to indicate some frustration early on as he stored 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 shall be his twenty second Grand Slam title to tie his opponent. Rafael NadalThe file for essentially 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 that presently occupies that seat, Carlos AlcarazHe missed the Australian Open as a result of a leg harm.
Thiem, runner-up on the Australian Open in 2020 and winner of the US Open the identical yr, missed 2021 as a result of accidents however has recovered from exterior the highest 350 final yr to a spot inside the highest 100. College entry by event organizers.
“Once you see that it’s a must to play towards Dominic, you realize it isn’t going to be simple. I do know he is going by means of some powerful occasions, so I want him all the very best to get again to the extent he may be as shortly as attainable,” stated Rublev.
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 event would not change something, as a result of I confronted a extremely powerful opponent,” he stated. “I hope I can enhance the outcomes on the South American clay.”
“I am going to really feel it – this night and tomorrow,” stated Murray. “However in the mean time I’m very glad. Very happy with myself.”
This was the three-time foremost champion’s first victory over a top-20 opponent in a Grand Slam event since 2017.
The Related Press contributed to this report.