Djokovic scores straight sets win in 2022 debut at Dubai Open

The Serb could lose his No 1 ranking next week but began his season on a positive note with a win in Dubai

Novak Djokovic, Dubai 2022 Novak Djokovic, Dubai 2022 – © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

ATP 500 DubaiResults | Schedule

World No 1 Novak Djokovic scored a straight sets win over 19-year-old Italian teen Lorenzo Musetti in his first match of the 2022 season at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday evening.

The Serb needed one hour and 12 minutes to complete the 6-3, 6-3 win over Musetti, ranked 58th in the world in the late evening match session in front of a packed Centre Court crowd in Dubai, where he is a five-time champion.

In the first set, Djokovic broke Musetti in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and held his serve through the set to win it 6-3.

In the second set, Djokovic once again broke in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead and then broke his opponent once again in the ninth game to complete the 6-3, 6-3 win in 72 minutes.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti – © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Djokovic saves all seven break points on his serve

Djokovic saved all seven break points that he faced, three in the first set and four in the second to ensure his serve remains unbroken in the match.

Djokovic was unable to defend his Australian Open title last month after his decision to not take the COVID-19 vaccine and enter Melbourne on a medical exemption led to a political uproar and a legal battle, which eventually saw the 34-year-old spend 10 days at a detention centre and them get deported out of the country.

With his ranking points from last year’s Australian Open dropping off on Monday, the Serb’s No 1 ranking is under threat from Russian Daniil Medvedev, who is playing at the ATP 500 event Acapulco this week.

Djokovic will next meet either Russia’s Karen Khachanov or Australian Alex de Minaur in the second round of the ATP 500 event.

In interviews over the past week, the Serb has stated that he is okay with the consequences of his decision not to get vaccinated, even if that means missing more Grand Slams in the coming months.

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