Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic feeling ‘confident and motivated’ after ‘perfect’ Astana start

Novak Djokovic believes he produced his top level of tennis as he made a stunning start in Astana.

Fresh from winning his 89th career title in Tel-Aviv last week, Djokovic crushed Cristian Garin 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round at Nur-Sultan.

It was another powerful display from the former world number one, who appears to be in ominously good form heading into the final part of the season.

“From the start to the end, [it was] a great performance,” Djokovic said. “Playing in a new tournament, different conditions, the first match is never easy.

“Obviously you are looking to see how you are going to adapt, but I did it perfectly, really, played as well as I can. I just made him work and used every opportunity that was presented to me.”

Novak Djokovic has not played much tennis since Wimbledon, but he has adjusted incredibly quickly to the hardcourts of Tel-Aviv and Astana.

He, though, says that is a skill he has always had, but it also helps when confidence is high.

“I was lucky that throughout my career I was actually pretty quick in adjusting to different conditions and surfaces,” said Djokovic.

“But I think that experience helps of knowing what to do. But [also] winning a tournament, [as opposed to] losing in a final or semis, makes a difference mentally.

“Coming into this tournament I feel confident, I feel excited, I feel motivated, so I think that helps as well to adjust quickly.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.