Novak Djokovic starts US return with comfortable win while Alejandro Davidovich resigns from Fokina
- Djokovic was able to celebrate a win after his Spanish opponent picked up a back injury
- The Serbian superstar meets Gael Monfils, who previously defeated Alex de Minaur
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Everything is the same for Novak Djokovic in his first game after a two-year absence from tennis in the USA.
The dominant Serb prevailed over second-round opponent Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who had to retire after a 6-4 loss in the first set at the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday.
Djokovic has not competed in the United States since the 2021 US Open final and was subsequently denied entry to the country for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
He was far from his best in his 46 minutes, suffering break points at 1-1 before serving to break free.
Davidovich Fokina took a medical break off the field to deal with a lower back problem while trailing 4-3.
Novak Djokovic did it against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his second leg in the United States
Davidovich Fokina had to retire after suffering a back injury early in the second set
The Serbian superstar meets French veteran Gael Monfils, who previously defeated Alex de Minaur
When Djokovic got the chance to serve the set against the ailing Spaniard, he played an unusually sloppy game, netting a forehand to win back the break.
But the 23-time Major winner bounced back and scored the opening goal in the next game with a forehand pass shot.
In the first game of the second set, Davidovich Fokina made a move that aggravated his back injury and shortly after went on the net to shake Djokovic’s hand.
“It’s great for me to get back on the pitch and win a game but obviously the feelings are mixed with the ending,” Djokovic said.
“Nevertheless, I hope that I can improve my form day by day and progress through the tournament and improve my level.”
Next Djokovic meets the resurgent Gael Monfils, who defeated Alex de Minaur in straight sets earlier in the day.
“He’s a great guy, someone I really respect and like a lot as a person,” added Djokovic, who has an amazing 18-0 record against the Frenchman.
“He brings so much joy to the fans, so much entertainment.” “He’s one of the most charismatic players we’ve had on tour in the last two decades and he’s playing better than ever.”
Djokovic, who has seen fans thronging his training session and played in a doubles match on Tuesday, could be on a collision course in the US Open match with world number one Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him in the Wimbledon final last month.