Novak Djokovic will play his first match this week in Dubai. The world No. 1 missed January after famously getting deported from Australia but with less restrictions in the U.A.E., he’s able to open his 2022 season in Dubai.
Yesterday, the 5-time tournament champion met the media, first saying he was excited to get back on court.
“I’m excited,” Djokovic said. “I haven’t played a match since Davis Cup in Spain last December. Can’t wait to start an official match tomorrow night.”
Djokovic also has the No. 1 ranking at stake, though he’s not concerned with Daniil Medvedev moving past him.
“I know that he’s very close,” said Djokovic. “Depends what I do here. I am not aware of all the different scenarios, but the only scenario that I have in my head is to win every match that I play here. I know if I win the tournament, I guess will I be able to stay No. 1?
“He deserves to be No. 1. Eventually it’s going to happen. If it happens this week, I’ll be the first one to congratulate him.”
Djokovic will open play against the talented Italian teen Lorenzo Musetti who gave the Serb a scare at Roland Garros last year.
“I have a young, very talented, tricky opponent in Lorenzo Musetti who has had a big win I think over Hurkacz earlier a few weeks ago in Rotterdam,” Djokovic said. “We played a tough five-setter obviously in Roland Garros. Clay, different conditions. He likes the more bouncy conditions.
“I think that this court is played very quick, actually the quickest I ever experienced the surface here in Dubai. It was always fast, but a lot of players that I talk to have been saying the same thing, it’s very, very fast.
“Obviously if you serve well, it’s a big advantage. I’m hoping that I can get the good start of the match, hopefully nice atmosphere on the stadium. I’m definitely motivated and inspired to play my best tennis.”
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