Novak Djokovic downs Lorenzo Musetti to make winning start to 2022
Novak Djokovic dispelled any doubts after not playing since December last year as he dismissed Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti with minimal fuss.
The 20-time Slam champion is enjoying his 361st week at the top of the rankings in Dubai, and he backed up that status with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 victory in the first round after just 74 minutes on court against Musetti.
And while he may not be world number one come the end of this week, Djokovic will certainly do his best to ensure that he is as he fights for a sixth title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
“I couldn’t ask for a better reception,” Djokovic began his post-match interview by saying.
“It’s been a while since I played my last match, I couldn’t pick a better place to kickstart the season.”
Djokovic last played competitively in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup Finals in early December last year.
“It was the best possible experience tonight and thank you very much for your support and welcoming me on the court the way you did,” he added.
The victory takes Djokovic to a 42-6 record at the event over his career since debuting in Dubai in 2007.
The draw in Dubai is certainly strong, as in just the second round Djokovic will face either world number 32 Alex de Minaur or world number 26 and Tokyo 2020 singles silver medallist Karen Khachanov.
The Serb has never faced de Minaur, while he holds a 4-1 record over Russia’s Khachanov, his only loss coming as the 25-year-old won their battle in the final of the 2018 Paris Masters to clinch his maiden Masters crown.
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