Djokovic wins comfortably in Dubai comeback

The Serbian tennis ace saw off Italian Lorenzo Musetti in two sets

Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic won on his comeback by beating 19-year-old opponent Lorenzo Musetti 6-3, 6-3 at the Dubai Open.

The round of 32 match was delayed by almost two hours after Andy Murray's victorious battle with Christopher O'Connell ran well over schedule.

Yet at around 22:15 local time, the Serb finally took to the court to a warm welcome for the first time since a visa and vaccine scandal saw him unable to defend his Australian Open crown and deported from the country.

Cheers of "Novak" could be heard when Djokovic was introduced and at the coin toss, which Djokovic acknowledged by putting his thumbs up as at least five relatives including wife Jelena prepared to watch him in action.

Djokovic claimed to reporters at a tightly-controlled press conference on Sunday that he felt he was at his "peak" despite the emotional toll the Australian Open debacle took on him.

And while we might not get a true gauge of this yet given the level of opposition in teenage world number 58 Musetti, Djokovic didn't look too rusty by heading out to a 6-3 lead to claim the first set in 36 minutes after the young Italian initially tied it 1-1 despite unforced errors here and there.

Musetti took the first game of the second set but Djokovic, dressed in all green including his tennis shoes, then went 3-1 ahead.

At 3-2, the sixth game went to a deuce in which Djokovic prevailed before Musetti pulled things back to 4-3.

Applauding his young adversary for good points scored along the way, Djokovic and his class proved too much in the end with the Serb completing a ruthless and comfortable 6-3, 6-3 triumph. 

Raising his racket to the sky and thanking all four corners of the arena, Djokovic received a rapturous ovation as Serbia flags were proudly shaken.

"I couldn't ask for a better reception, I couldn't be in a better place to restart the season," Djokovic stressed in a short post-match press conference on Center Court.

"All in all I have to be satisfied with my tennis. I made a few unforced errors but it's normal to expect that in your first match. [It was] a very pleasant experience for me," he added.

Djokovic now advances to the second round in Dubai, where he will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur.

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