• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Novak Djokovic Makes Winning comeback to US in Cincinnati Open.

Novak Djokovic made a winning return to the United States on Wednesday, defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4 in the first round of the Cincinnati Open.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion had not played in the US since 2019 due to his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But the US government relaxed its rules for unvaccinated foreign travelers in May, clearing the way for Djokovic to compete in the Cincinnati Open and the US Open.

Djokovic looked sharp in his first match back, breaking Fokina’s serve twice in the first set. The Spaniard retired in the second set with a back injury.

“Kind of a mixed emotions tonight,” Djokovic said. “Really like Alejandro. Get along really well off the court. We train with each other while in Spain. He told me he has a lower back issue that appeared yesterday. It’s unfortunate.”

Djokovic will next face Gael Monfils in the second round of the Cincinnati Open. Monfils is a 10-time ATP Tour champion, but he has never beaten Djokovic in 18 career matches.

The Cincinnati Open is a warm-up tournament for the US Open, which begins on August 29. Djokovic is the defending champion at the US Open, and he will be looking to win his 24th Grand Slam title in New York.

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“I’m very happy to be back in the US,” Djokovic said after the match. “I missed playing in these big tournaments, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer.”

Djokovic’s return to the US has been met with mixed reactions. Some fans have welcomed him back, while others have criticized his decision not to get vaccinated. Djokovic has said that he is willing to miss future tournaments if he is not allowed to compete due to his vaccination status.

Only time will tell how Djokovic’s decision will affect his career. But one thing is for sure: he is still one of the best tennis players in the world, and he will be a major contender at the US Open.

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