Novak Djokovic made a winning start to the season in Adelaide, competing at this event for the first time in 16 years! Novak took down Constant Lestienne 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 15 minutes in the first round for a place in the last 16.
Novak was pleased with his performance, especially after a tight battle in the opening six games. Djokovic took charge with a break in game six and never looked back in the rest of the clash. The Serb lost nine points behind the initial shot and defended a lone break point at 2-2 in the opener.
On the other hand, he turned 43% of the return points into three breaks from eight chances, enough to move over the top. Djokovic settled into a fine rhythm behind the initial shot, and Lestienne held in the fourth game with a forehand down the line winner for 2-2.
The Frenchman created a break chance in game five after the Serb’s mistake at the net. Novak denied it after the rival’s forehand mistake and fired a service winner to open a 3-2 gap. Constant missed his chances in the sixth game and played a loose forehand to drop serve and fall 4-2 behind.
Djokovic cemented the advantage with a forehand down the line winner in game seven and landed a service winner at 5-3 to wrap it up in 38 minutes.
Novak Djokovic is through to the second round in Adelaide.
The Serb seized the third break chance at the start of the second set with a forehand down the line winner.
Novak held at love in game two and converted the third break chance a few minutes later for a 3-0 advantage. A service winner sent Djokovic 4-0 in front, and he extended the gap to 5-1 with another fine hold. Lestienne served well in games five and seven to avoid a bagel and prolong the match.
The Serb sealed the deal in game eight with a service winner that sent him into the second round. “Well, of course, it’s great to be back. To see the packed house for my first match was a delightful surprise, with lots of support and love.
That motivated me and allowed me to express myself best on the court with my game. I made a very solid, competitive start. We stayed close to each other in the first six games, with Constant having a break point. I managed to play solid in crucial moments and got rewarded with the break. I did not look back after that, and everything worked well for me in the second set,” Novak Djokovic said.