Before returning to his backyard in Melbourne, where he will aim for a 10th Australian Open title, Novak Djokovic will try to win the Adelaide tournament this week. To get into the swing of things, the Djoker was entered in doubles with Vasek Pospisil and was able to play his first match on Australian soil in two years. Despite a good reception from the public, both men lost. In singles, Nole started his 2023 season against a Frenchman, Constant Lestienne. The former world number 1 proved he was already in good shape and proved to be authoritative with a 6-3, 6-2 win. In the second round, the Serb will meet another Frenchman, Quentin Halys.
In a press conference, Nole talked about his return to Australian soil. “It’s great to be back. I’ve already had success in Adelaide in my career, in 2007 to be exact, a long time ago, so it was nice to see my old coach, Dejan Petrovic, who is Serbian but was born in Adelaide. He was with me back then, and Marian Vajda too, so it brought back good memories. On the other hand, seeing the full field in my first game was a very pleasant surprise. It obviously motivated me and allowed me to express myself in the best way possible, I think I played very solid and it was a competitive start, I played a very good second set.”
Once again, Djokovic insisted he had no hard feelings about Australia and was very pleased with the reception since his arrival. “My experience coming back is like every other year I’ve been here, except last season. If I didn’t want to come to Australia, I wouldn’t be here. I want to be here. I’m glad I’ve had the welcome I’ve wanted so far. The overall experience so far has been very positive. There is no reason to focus: what you focus on, you become. If I focus on the negative, that’s what I’ll attract, so I don’t want to do that. I don’t hold grudges. I’m here to play tennis, enjoy the sport and spread some good energy.”
Finally, regarding the Australian Open, no projections. Yet, no doubt, “Djoko” will be the big favorite in Melbourne. “I don’t have any expectations. I just try to stay in the moment. Now I’m focusing on Adelaide and trying to do well in this tournament. Obviously, Melbourne, the Grand Slam, is different with so many players, both women and men. I’ll be there a week before my first match as well, as I usually do, to practice, get used to the little difference in conditions and the speed of the court, and we’ll see. I mean, hopefully I’ll get a good reception. That’s what I’m hoping for, but I don’t have any expectations.”
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