Sports

January 1, 2019

‘Fantastic to be back’: Djokovic wins first match of 2019 in just 55 minutes

‘Fantastic to be back’: Djokovic wins first match of 2019 in just 55 minutes

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic kisses his trophy after winning the men’s final match against Britain’s Andy Murray at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris on June 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO

Novak Djokovic took just 55 minutes to claim his first win of 2019, brushing aside Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-2 in the Qatar Open first round on Tuesday.

The world number one showed he was intent on taking his form from last season into the new year with a totally dominant display against the Bosnian world number 47.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic smiles as he carries the winners trophy after beating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 in their men’s singles final match on the thirteenth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2018. / AFP PHOTO

“It’s fantastic to be back and to start off the tournament like I have done makes me very confident and very happy,” said the Serb.

He added: “Results-wise and time-wise it did look quite comfortable (but) I don’t think it’s nice and fair to say it’s easy because I have respect for Dzumhur.”

Djokovic, who has won the last two Grand Slams — at Wimbledon and the US Open to take his majors total to 14 — completed the match in under an hour by predictably converting his first match point.

The 31-year-old, who has made it clear he wants to match or better Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slams, was untroubled throughout.

Djokovic said he hoped that news of his comfortable victory in Doha “travels” to his rivals around the world.

“You do follow, especially what your top rivals are doing, who are they playing, watch highlights,” he said.

Djokovic’s Doha stroll on centre court followed a high quality match between veteran Stan Wawrinka and rising star Karen Khachanov.

The Swiss three-time Grand Slam winner won 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 to claim a notable scalp against the powerful Russian.

Khachanov, the third seed, finished last season ranked at a career-time high of number 11 and was the man who ended Djokovic’s 22-match winning streak in Paris.

He is many people’s tip to push through and challenge the established stars.

However, Khachanov had no answer to an inspired Wawrinka, currently ranked 66th in the world, as he returns from a serious knee injury.
https://newlive.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/khachanov-upsets-djokovic-to-win-paris-masters-title/

“Today was a great match, a great level,” said Wawrinka, who has suffered an injury-plagued last two seasons.

Wawrinka and Djokovic could meet at the semi-final stage in Doha.

Another player returning from injury, Belgium’s David Goffin, the sixth seed, was beaten by Lithuanian qualifier Ricardis Berankis, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).