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Novak Djokovic wins his first match of 2022 at Dubai Championship, making return after Australian Open visa saga

Novak Djokovic is a tennis player from Serbia.

(born May 22, 1987 in Belgrade) is a Serbian professional tennis player who has been ranked number one in the ATP rankings since 2003. With a height of 1.88 meters, he plays with his right hand. He has won 85 championships in his career, including 20 Grand Slams, 36 Masters competitions, and five ATP World Tour Finals.

Novak Djokovic wins his first match of 2022 at Dubai Championship, making return after Australian Open visa saga

Novak Djokovic, the world number one, began his 2022 season with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Championships on Monday.

The 34-year-old showed no signs of rust or mental baggage from his Australian Open debacle, cruising into the second round with a typically clinical performance.

It was Djokovic's first match of the year after his chances of competing in the Australian Open were crushed when he was deported after an 11-day drama centered on his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine and a contentious exemption.

The decision to deport the Serb from Melbourne was made after two court sessions, with Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke ultimately determining that he could feed anti-vax sentiment.

But back on the court at Dubai's Aviation Club, Djokovic proved why he should have been the favorite to win his 10th Australian Open championship and beat Rafael Nadal to a men's record 21st Grand Slam triumph.

Djokovic cruised through the gears after being cheered on to the court by the late-night audience, broke Musetti's serve in the fourth game of a straightforward opening set.

With a forehand winner in the second set, Djokovic grabbed an early break in front of his entourage, which included his wife Jelena.

When he was serving at 3-2 and had to save break points, he reduced his level temporarily, but he never appeared threatened as his followers, many of whom were waving Serbian flags, applauded his victories.

In the last game, Djokovic smashed a brilliant forehand winner to claim victory on his first match point.

Even if Djokovic wins the Dubai championship for the sixth time, if Russian Daniil Medvedev wins the Acapulco event, he could lose his world number one status this week.

But it was the last thing on Djokovic's mind as he moved on from one of the worst weeks of his brilliant career. He is now in his 361st week as the world number one, an ATP record.

"It's been a while since I played my last match, and the response was wonderful," Djokovic remarked on court, saluting all sides of the arena as he had not played since the Davis Cup Finals.

"After not playing a match for two or three months, I have to be content with a straight sets win."


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