Novak Djokovic wins first singles match since returning to Australia


Novak Djokovic won his first singles match since returning to Australia on Tuesday. The 21-time Grand Slam champion defeated Frenchman Constant Lestienne at the ATP tournament in Adelaide (hard / $ 642,735) 6-3, 6-2 after 1 hour and 15 minutes. The 35-year-old Serbian thanked the fans present, who welcomed him in a “dreamed way”.

Michiel VerheirstraetenBron: BELGIAN

“I always look forward to playing in Australia. The conditions were the way they were last year and that was not easy for anyone. But I’m happy to be back, just focus on tennis and enjoy you guys,” said Djokovic.

It was initially questionable how Djokovic’s return would be received in Australia. The former world number one was expelled from the country last year because he had not been vaccinated against the corona virus. There was then a vaccination requirement for the state of Victoria to enter the country. Djokovic nevertheless traveled to Melbourne, but was sent home after a day-long soap opera and a lawsuit. Djokovic’s attitude led to divided reactions in the country.

On Monday, during his lost match in doubles, it appeared that he could count on the support of fans. They chanted “Novak, Novak” en masse. In addition, many Serbian flags were displayed in the stands.

The Serbian will face a Frenchman, Quentin Halys, in the next round. Djokovic is preparing for the Australian Open, the first grand slam tournament of the year. That tournament starts in two weeks.

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