The Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic made a comeback on US soil after two years and secured his spot in the third round of the ATP Cincinnati Open as his rival Alejandro Davidovich Fokina got retired hurt.
The Wimbledon finalist secured the first set 6-4 when his Spanish rival was unable to carry with a lower back injury.
The world number two Serb said that Alejandro told him that the pain started yesterday. Novak expressed his concern that “ hopefully he will be ready for the US Open in New York”.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said that the audience was expecting a match and this is not the way one wants to win the game.
Djokovic expressed his side by saying that he has mixed emotions regarding the conclusion of the match but he also hopes to build momentum and form ahead of the tournament by raising his levels.
The Serb sensation is playing in the United States (US) for the first time since 2021. He was restricted from entering the country due to COVID-19 restrictions as the 36-year-old refused to take the vaccination.
Novak will face the Paris star Gael Monfils in his next game on Thursday. Gael has made an exceptional comeback by defeating Australia’s Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-4 to reach the third round for two consecutive weeks.
The former world-ranked number six Frenchman outperformed as he beat the weekend finalist in Canada after playing two hours with 29 wins to 14 for Australian Alex.
“It will be a contest of veterans,” said Novak ahead of his clash with the French star on Thursday.
He also said that” Monfils is an amazing guy and he truly respects him”,- he brings joy to the fans. Novak also mentioned him as the most “charismatic” player the WTA had in the last 20 years.
In a conversation with ATP, he also said that he wanted to play against him and beating him would have been a dream for Fokina. Fokina also complimented the Serbian star as the mixture of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
US Soil Comeback: Djokovic Suffers Defeat in Return Match:
A day prior to the singles win the Serb duo Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic lost to Jamie Murray and Micheal Venus. The Jamie-Micheal duo secured a 6-4,6-2 victory in Ohio.
Novak was playing his first match since he lost to the world number one Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in a five-set Wimbledon Final.
Novak had withdrawn from the Toronto event due to Fatigue and opted for rest. He has eyes on the New York event (US Open) which is scheduled from August 28 onwards.
US Open 2023: list of wildcards
The list of qualifying wildcards for the US Open 2023 has been released. Zachary Svajda and Brandon Holt are among the 18 American competitors who will play at the event in New York (NYC).
Brandon, the son of former world number one Tracy Austin, qualified for the Grand Slam for the first time in his career at last year’s major NYC event. He had made huge upsets in the tournament by beating Taylor Fritz in the opening round of the tournament.
Holt will once again go through the qualifying and will aim to reach the main draw for the second time in a row. He is currently placed as World number 245.
Svajda, who is the second wildcard will also aim to reach the main draw of the US Open 2023.
Martin Damm Jr, who is the son of former US Open doubles title winner Martin Damm has also received the wildcard for this event.