In a friendly scenethe Aviation Club of Dubai in which he has been a five-time champion, Novak Djokovic returned to tennis. Without getting vaccinated against COVID-19, stubborn in principles that can cut short his enormous career, the Serbian who was deported from Australia on January 16 as he was considered a health hazard, defeated Lorenzo Musetti by a double 6-3 in 1h:14. the emirate does not require vaccination of its visitors and the Balkan took advantage of that to return. This year, while movement restrictions continue, your calendar will be marked by the COVID passport. Right now, he could not play Roland Garros or the US Open.
Serious, concentrated, without a gesture for the gallery, with his team and his wife, Jelena, in the stands doing pineapple, Djokovic began to release the tension he has accumulated on the court. He was paid by the Next Gen Musetti (19 years old and 58th in the world), which had taken him to a fifth set at Roland Garros last year in a match in which the Italian ended up retiring. This time he did not put up so much resistance and gave the Serbian the victory on a plate with mismatches on a night in which the wind blew strongly and contributed to adding more errors.
“Nole, Nole!” shouted a spirited group of fans well stocked with Serbian flags. The public, unwilling to set itself up as a judge Due to his refusal to be vaccinated, which can happen to Djokovic in other countries, he preferred to focus on tennis.
– ATP Tour in Spanish (@ATPTour_ES) February 21, 2022
In the first set, a break for 3-1 served the Belgrade player to take the lead. He had not played since December 3, in the semifinals of the Davis Cup in Madrid and, although a little stiffwas enough to take the first quarter.
In the second, the break came with 2-1. But in the sixth game, the Italian had four break balls and after saving the last one with an ace, the Serbian went to his box screaming for the first time. On and off. As if the rage was boiling inside. He did not give up his serve and managed another break for the final 6-3.
The champion of 20 Grand Slams has a task to hold the number one. 14,600 kilometers away, in Acapulco, Daniil Medvedev has an opportunity to take it off. He will, for sure, if he wins the Mexican ATP 500, even if the Serbian was also champion in Dubai. And there are other possibilities depending on the rounds in which one and the other end. In the Dubai 500 tournament, there are high-gloss tennis players (Rublev, Auger-Aliassime, Sinner, Hurkacz, Shapovalov, Bautista…) and you will have to apply yourself if you want to stay on top. His next rival will come from Karen Khachanov-Alex de Miñaur. For the moment, before Musetti, he applied a bit of a balm that he needed.