World number one Tennis player Novak Djokovic started his 2022 season in winning style at the Dubai championship beating Italian player Lorenzo Musetti in straight rounds by 6-3,6-3. The 34-year-old superstar in the game showed no signs of stress or rust after his controversial Australian Open exit in January 2022 when the Australian Federal Court canceled his visa citing his refusal to take Covid-19 vaccination that resulted in a controversial exemption from playing his 10th Australian Open. This was Djokovic’s first game after the Australian open exit in January 2022.
But at the Dubai championship, he was seen relaxed, and with his performance, showed again why he is number one and would have been the favorite at Australian open to win, might be by beating Rafael Nadal who won his record 21st Grandslam, winning Australian Open.
Djokovic was cheered by the late-night crowd. With counterattacks, he broke Musetti’s serve in the fourth fame of routine first set. His wife Jelena was there to support him. Djokovic got a break in the second set with a forehand winner.
Initially, he was dropped at 3-2 and was trying to save his breakpoints, but people in the crowd many with Serbian flags were continuously cheering for his winners. In the final game, Djokovic crunched a superb forehand winner and claimed his first victory of 2022.
Stating the Australian Open incident Djokovic told reporters that he was not sure how he will be received on the Tennis court after his controversial exit from the Australian Open, but he is happy that people were excited to watch him playing and wanted to take photos with him after the match.
Dubai is a perfect place for him to start the season as fans supported and cheered him in his first Dubai Championship match win. Djokovic told reporters in the press conference.
For Djokovic to remain at number one would be challenging as even if he wins the Dubai title that he is aiming for the sixth time, he could lose his number one rank if Russian Daniil Medvedev wins the Acapulco title. But for Djokovic, this is one of the last things that matter to him as he has moved away from one of the darkest weeks of his career. Djokovic is enjoying the 361st week as number one which is an ATP record.
In his absence Rafael Nadal clinched record 21st Grandslam, surpassing Roger Federer and Djokovic who have 20 major titles each. Congratulating Rafael, Djokovic applauds his performance stating it as an Incredible one. “Amazing fighter he is and I have tons of respect for him. “It wasn’t a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away,” Djokovic told.
In Dubai, the Covid-19 vaccine is not mandatory to enter UAE so Djokovic can play in Dubai without creating any negative paparazzi or exemption like that of happened with him in Australia.
Three times world champion Andy Murray, who is also competing in Dubai is just one match win away to reach his 700 career match wins, where he will face next Italian Jannik Sinner or Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.