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Novak Djokovic wins in straight-sets on ATP Tour return

Novak Djokovic eased to a win against Lorenzo Musetti on his return to action in the ATP Tour in Dubai on Monday.

Novak Djokovic wins in straight-sets on ATP Tour return
Francois Nel/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic won his first match back on the ATP Tour since missing the Australian Open, beating Lorenzo Musetti in the round of 32 at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The men's world number one had not played a competitive match since early December and was last month deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open.

That decision was a result of Djokovic opting not to join the majority of his tennis peers in getting vaccinated against covid-19 and amid controversy over how he handled getting the virus himself in December.

Djokovic wins on return

On Monday, he eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Musetti in just 74 minutes in his first match of 2022, hitting five aces, winning an impressive 71 per cent of his second serves (17 out of 24) and saving all seven break points he faced against the Italian.

"All in all, it's a straight-sets win, so of course I have to be satisfied with my tennis, especially after not playing for two-and-a-half, three months," Djokovic said on court after the win.

"Of course, there were moments when I played great, there were moments when I made a couple of unforced errors in a row uncharacteristically. But it's normal to expect that [in my] first match after a while."

Djokovic will play the winner of Karen Khachanov against Alex de Minaur in the last 16.

Murray records win

Andy Murray is also through after a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5 win against Australian qualifier Christopher O'Connell. The Scot edged a tough match that lasted almost three hours, saving seven of eight break points faced. He will play either Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Jannik Sinner next.

Elsewhere, Jiri Vesely overcame Marin Cilic 6-4 7-6 (7-3), while Filip Krajinovic beat Malek Jaziri 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 and Taro Daniel eliminated David Goffin after a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win.