Novak Djokovic started the 2023 Australian Open by filing a resounding 6-3 6-4 6-0 to Roberto Carballes Baena on the Rod Laver Arena. The Spaniard did his best to try and worry Nole, but he gave up quite clearly in the presence of the nine-time champion of this tournament.
The Serbian phenomenon left the pittance of four overall points by the wayside in the third set, as well as having shown excellent physical condition. In fact, there was some uncertainty about Novak’s form, struggling with a left hamstring injury that had prevented him from training in the previous days.
The former world number 1 seemed to be on the ball, even if we will have to wait for more stringent tests before issuing a verdict. We recall that the 35-year-old from Belgrade is hunting for his tenth title in Melbourne Park, which would allow him to catch up with his eternal rival Rafael Nadal at 22 Grand Slams.
The Spaniard left the scene already in the second round, also thanks to a hip injury. In a long interview with the ‘Grand Slam Daily’, former player Mark Petchey analyzed Djokovic’s debut performance.
Petchey praises Djokovic
“There are very few players that compete like Novak Djokovic, and I thought he maybe peaked too early in the tournament, but boy was it a joy to watch.” He added: “There’s definitely some concern there.
You won’t not have a practice, which is what happened two days prior to this, if there isn’t a concern. There were a couple of times in the match, to be honest, that he kind of stretched for a ball or a couple of drop shots where he kind of shook his leg out afterwards,” he said.
“You’re going to go through your routine, you’re going to make sure everything is normal. So the reality is, there definitely is an issue with Novak’s hamstring, but it’s clearly not something that he can’t manage at the moment.
Will it be around when the tougher tests come? Probably not, and that’s probably what I’m sure he’s hoping for. For the time being, everything looked pretty good out there,” he concluded. Novak Djokovic is optimistic about having a successful run at the 2023 Australian Open.
“They’re just numbers in the end of the day,” Novak Djokovic said, “I mean, I’ve been in the situations before where I’ve played for some really big historic things, and I’ve been blessed to have more success than failures in those particular situations. I know how to behave; I know how to handle it. Let’s see how far I can go”.
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