Australian Open

Djokovic upbeat after winning comeback match

2018-01-16 11:20
Novak Djokovic (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Six-time champion Novak Djokovic looked his old self as he powered to a convincing first round victory at the Australian Open on Tuesday on his return from an elbow injury, saying he felt "great".

The 12-times Grand Slam winner, seeded an unfamiliar 14, was too strong for American Donald Young, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour and 51 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

The Serbian former world number one has been out of action for six months.

But he looked in good fettle as he worked his way into the second round where he will play Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Djokovic, wearing a flesh-coloured protective guard on his right serving elbow, saluted the cheering crowd as he won on his sixth match point.

"It felt great to be back on the court and compete again. It's been a while. Obviously, you don't know how you're going to start off," he said.

"I was putting a lot of hours on the court in the last couple weeks, and I played a lot of practice sets, and I had only one match leading up to this tournament in Kooyong.

"In more or less all of these practice sessions, I could feel that I'm hitting the ball well. So I was hoping this is going to obviously continue and be transferred into the first round of Australian Open.

"The first two sets went extremely well, considering that I haven't played for six months. The third was up and down a little bit, but in general it was a great performance."

It was an impressive return to action with the Serb breaking Young's left-handed serve six times, hitting 33 winners and conceding only 27 unforced errors.

"I did have various emotions, mostly good ones: excitement, joy, gratitude for being able to have an opportunity to compete," Djokovic added.

"About three weeks ago I didn't know whether I'm going to play in Australia or not.

"I was looking forward to getting out on the court and compete. But I did feel nerves and I did feel a bit sceptical whether I'm going to be able to continue playing well as I have in the last couple weeks in the practice sessions.

"But I thought I controlled it well. I didn't get carried away by anything, I just didn't allow it to happen. Very, very solid performance."

Asked if he felt rusty after his months out of the game, Djokovic replied: "There were not too many things I didn't feel so good about.

"There were certain parts of the match, maybe in the third set, where I didn't capitalise on all these opportunities, break points, match points.

"Maybe I should have just approached these kind of points with a little bit more of intensity, a little bit more of aggressivity, but I haven't."

He added: "It's fine. I won a straight-set match. After six months, there's not much to say in a negative note about it."

Collated results from the Australian Open on Tuesday:

Men's singles

1st round

Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Vaclav Safranek (CZE) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

Adrian Mannarino (FRA x26) bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Roberto Bautista (ESP x20) 6-1, 7-5, 7-5

Maximilian Marterer (GER) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-0, 6-3, 6-4

Julien Benneteau (FRA) bt Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/0), 6-4, 6-1

Sam Querrey (USA x13) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

Nicolas Kicker (ARG) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3

Lukas Lacko (SVK) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x22) 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Stan Wawrinka (SUI x9) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2)

Albert Ramos (ESP x21) bt Jared Donaldson (USA) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Peter Gojowczyk (GER) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-3, 6-3, 6-1

Alexander Zverev (GER x4) bt Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5

David Goffin (BEL x7) bt Matthias Bachinger (GER) 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) bt Florian Mayer (GER) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5

Novak Djokovic (SRB x14) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Kwon Soon-woo (KOR) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4

Denis Kudla (USA) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2

Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2

Fabio Fognini (ITA x25) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-4, 6-4, 7-5

Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Tim Smyczek (USA) bt Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-3, 6-7 (14/16), 6-3, 6-3

Chung Hyeon (KOR) bt Mischa Zverev (GER x32) 6-2, 4-1 ret

Richard Gasquet (FRA x29) bt Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-1, 6-4, 7-5

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (10/8), 6-4

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-0, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-4

Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Peter Polansky (CAN) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Aljaz Bedene (GBR) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3

Tomas Berdych (CZE x19) bt Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1

Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Juan Martin Del Potro (ARGx12) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3

Women's singles

1st round

Johanna Konta (GBR x9) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3, 6-1

Bernarda Pera (USA) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-2, 6-2

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE x20) bt Kristie Ahn (USA) 6-1, 7-5

Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) bt Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 6-1, 6-2

Lucie Safarova (CZE x29) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 7-5, 6-3

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x6) bt Veronica Cepede (PAR) 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x21) bt Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 6-0, 6-4

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 7-5, 6-4

Caroline Garcia (FRA x8) bt Carina Witthoeft (GER) 7-5, 6-3

Elena Vesnina (RUS x16) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-3, 6-4

Maria Sharapova (RUS) bt Tatjana Malek (GER) 6-1, 6-4

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Christina McHale (USA) 6-3, 6-2

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) bt Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4

Donna Vekic (CRO) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 7-5, 6-3

Madison Keys (USA x17) bt Qiang Wang (CHN) 6-1, 7-5

Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Destanee Aiava (AUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO x28) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-2

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x14) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Kristina Kucova (SVK) 7-5, 6-2

Lesya Tsurenko (UKR) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-4, 6-3

Lauren Davis (USA) bt Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-1

Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x27) 6-3, 4-6, 10-8

Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) bt Zhu Lin (CHN) 0-6, 6-0, 8-6

Ana Bogdan (ROM) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x11) 6-3, 6-2

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) bt Jessika Ponchet (FRA) 6-4, 6-3

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x26) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 7-5, 7-6 (8/6)

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x18) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4

Read more on:    australian open  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis
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