Cincinnati Open: Novak Djokovic eases via on USA singles return

Novak Djokovic plays a shot
Djokovic saved two early break factors earlier than easing into the match

Novak Djokovic eased to victory on the Cincinnati Open in his first singles match in the USA in two years.

The 23-times Grand Slam champion had been unable to compete within the US over Covid protocols.

However guidelines for unvaccinated overseas travellers have been relaxed in Might, enabling him to return to competitors.

He received the primary set 6-4 in opposition to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who later retired with a again concern.

The victory was the 36-year-old’s Serb’s first time taking part in singles in Cincinnati since 2019, though he misplaced in doubles on Tuesday when he and compatriot Nikola Cacic have been overwhelmed by Britain’s Jamie Murray and Michael Venus of New Zealand.

“Time flies. 4 years looks like it was yesterday. It is positively good to be again,” mentioned the world quantity two, who will subsequent face Gael Monfils.

“I’ve had some very nice reminiscences from this match.

“Successful it in 2018 clearly is a spotlight for me, as a result of it was the one Masters I hadn’t received for years. I feel I misplaced 4 or 5 finals, largely to Roger [Federer].

“However I performed nicely up to now and was actually glad to have an opportunity to return again to the States. It has been two years – I missed it. A few of the largest tournaments in our sport are performed on American soil. I am simply excited to play some tennis.”

Elsewhere, Australian qualifier Max Purcell beat third seed Casper Ruud in three units for his first victory over a top-10 ranked participant.

Purcell, the world quantity 70, saved six out of seven break factors to win 6-4 3-6 6-4 and arrange a gathering with three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka.

The swiss former world quantity three continued his return to type with a 6-3 6-4 win over American sixteenth seed Frances Tiafoe.

Sixth seed Jannik Sinneradditionally bowed out, dropping 6-4 7-6 (7-1) to Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev moved into the final 16 with a 6-3 6-2 win over Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti.

Medvedev, who claimed the title in 2019 earlier than occurring to succeed in the US Open closing, faces Germany’s Alexander Zverev subsequent.

Zverev received 7-5 6-4 in opposition to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, whereas Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and American ninth seed Taylor Fritz each additionally progressed.

Tsitsipas performs Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, who knocked out Croatian defending champion Borna Coric.

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