No. 1 Novak Djokovic returned to action with a comfortable win at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday (21). The Serbian who was playing his first match in 2022, beat 6-3, 6-3 Italian wild card Lorenzo Musetti to begin his campaign for a sixth title in Dubai.
Djokovic was featuring for the first time since his visa controversy that saw him being deported from Australia and famously missed out on defending the Australian Open title after refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
It took the Serbian just one hour and 14 minutes to wrap up the victory against 19-year-old Musetti and set up a second-round meeting with either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur, who will face-off play on Tuesday.
“I couldn’t ask for a better reception. It’s been a while since I played the last match — I couldn’t pick a better place to kick-start the season,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview.
“It was the best possible experience tonight and thank you very much for your support and welcoming me on the court the way you did.”
He added: “All in all, it’s a straight-set win so of course I have to be satisfied with my tennis, especially after not playing for two-and-a-half, almost three months.
“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 the first match for a while.”