The Serbian superstar beat the Frenchman comfortably 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes, breaking once in the first set and twice in the second
Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Constant Lestienne. Pic/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic swept to victory in his first singles match on Australian soil since being deported a year ago, crushing Constant Lestienne at the Adelaide International on Tuesday to kick-start his bid for another Grand Slam title.
The Serbian superstar beat the Frenchman comfortably 6-3, 6-2 in 74 minutes, breaking once in the first set and twice in the second.
“For the first match I can’t complain, I played very well,” Djokovic said. “Thank you all for coming out today. Thank you for giving me the welcome that I could only wish for. “Even the circumstances last year, it wasn’t easy for anybody. But I’m just happy to be here focusing on tennis, and enjoying my time with you guys.”
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It was his first singles clash in the country after being kicked out before the 2022 Australian Open for not being vaccinated for Covid-19. Djokovic was subsequently barred from re-entering for three years. The ban was lifted in November, allowing him a chance to win an unprecedented 10th Australian Open crown at Melbourne Park later this month. Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Djokovic in the 2021 Australian Open final, also tasted victory, saving an incredible nine set points on his way to a 7-6 (8/6), 2-1 win over Italian Lorenzo Sonego who retired hurt. Jannik Sinner, Denis Shapovalov and Victoria Azarenka were among other winners.
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