Djokovic returns from injury layoff with dominating win
Djokovic returns from injury layoff with dominating win
Novak Djokovic makes winning return to tennis in Melbourne
10 January, 2018, 10:42
"It feels good", he said.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Novak Djokovic stopped quickly, abruptly changed directions and stabbed at a full-stretch volley that whizzed past Dominic Thiem for a victor.
Thiem looked out of sorts in his Kooyong match against former world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who was pumped up for his first match after six months sidelined with an elbow injury.
He then turned and beamed.
"I'm free of fever and healthy again", Thiem said post-match.
Djokovic channelled his inner Kyrgios in Melbourne, donning a sleeve on his troublesome right elbow as the 12-time grand slam champion dismantled world number five Thiem 6-1 6-4 in Wednesday's exhibition match.
Djokovic added: "I had that kind of matchplay attitude".
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The 12-time Grand Slam champion said potential five-set matches in Melbourne hold some fitness concerns for him.
"I don't want to be over-confident", he said.
A six-time victor at the Australian Open, tournament officials have been sweating on the fitness of Djokovic, who was forced to skip the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and the Qatar Open, having not played competitively since withdrawing from the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in July.
"It would be ideal if I got another tournament under my belt before the Australian Open but my elbow wasn't ready".
He also unveiled a more compact service motion meant to put less pressure on his elbow that resulted in three aces in a single game against Thiem in the first set.
Novak Djokovic has passed his long-awaited return to the tennis court with flying colours, declaring he "feels great" ahead of next week's Australian Open. I love this sport - it's a great passion of mine. "So glad to be back and so nice to start in a country and a city where I have the greatest memories".
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