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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic defeats Roberto Carballes Baena to make successful begin in Melbourne | Tennis Information

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Novak Djokovic started his quest for a record-extending tenth Australian Open title with a snug 6-3 6-4 6-0 victory over Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.

There had been severe issues over Djokovic’s health together with his higher left leg closely strapped throughout apply, however the former world No 1 allayed any fears by dismantling the world No 75.

Djokovic was given a hero’s welcome on Rod Laver Enviornment which was filled with Serbian flags in assist of the nine-time champion, who was taking part in his first match of the 2023 match at Melbourne Park following final yr’s vaccine-related deportation.

“Unbelievable ambiance, thanks a lot for staying,” Djokovic mentioned to the group. “Thanks for giving me such a welcoming reception I might solely dream of.

“I really feel very pleased that I am again in Australia and again on this court docket. I could not ask for a greater begin to the match.”

The primary query mark forward of the match had been concerning the situation of Djokovic’s left hamstring, which he harm en path to his victory in Adelaide and which has continued to trigger him bother.

It was closely strapped, and there have been a couple of moments the place he appeared uncomfortable, however he moved effectively and struck the ball together with his customary crispness from the baseline, ending the competition with 41 winners.

Carballes Baena, ranked 75, provided loads of resistance within the first two units, with Djokovic having to recuperate from 0-40 at 2-2. However that proved to be the one actual second the place he was on the again foot and he raced by means of the third set, shedding solely 4 factors.

Alexander Zverev of Germany reacts after defeating Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru in their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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Alexander Zverev secured his first Grand Slam win since he was pressured to retire injured finally yr’s French Open

Alexander Zverev survived a scare in opposition to fortunate loser Juan Pablo Varillas to prevail 4-6 6-1 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in over 4 hours.

The German earned his first Grand Slam win since he was pressured to retire within the French Open semi-final in opposition to Rafael Nadal after rolling his ankle and tearing ligaments.

“I’m extraordinarily pleased as a result of I missed this over the previous seven months,” Zverev mentioned.

“This match alone pays off for all of the exhausting work and struggling that I’ve had. To win in entrance of this type of crowd once more… I am unable to watch for the remainder of the match. It doesn’t matter what occurs from now, the match is already a hit for me.”

Taylor Fritz fired 32 aces in his 6-4 6-2 4-6 7-5 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili to maneuver by means of, however the American’s subsequent massive problem is persuading his girlfriend to let him to play video video games.

“I am gonna get a number of hours of restoration after the match, be sure I am feeling good, possibly get some dinner and presumably play some video video games if my girlfriend lets me,” Fritz mentioned with a smile.

World No 6 Andrey Rublev loved a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over 2020 finalist Dominic Thiem in simply over two hours to earn his first victory of the season.

“I do know that he is going by means of not simple instances. I want him to come back again to the extent he may be at as quick as attainable,” Rublev mentioned of US Open champion Thiem, who’s getting back from a debilitating wrist damage.

In a rematch of the 2021 quarter-final, Grigor Dimitrov beat Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 6-2 in a first-round battle between the previous semi-finalists.

Danish teenager Holger Rune, the ninth seed, breezed by means of with a 6-2 6-3 6-4 win over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic.

Australia’s Alex de Minaur eased into the subsequent spherical with a 6-2 6-2 6-3 win over Taiwan’s Hsu Yu-hsiou.

“I do know what’s requested from me,” the 23-year-old mentioned. “I do know that at instances I’ve acquired some strain on myself to ship. I take it with satisfaction finally.”

Kyrgios targets Roland Garros return

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Nick Kyrgios described having to withdraw from his dwelling Grand Slam with a knee damage as ‘brutal’

Nick Kyrgios was pressured to tug out of his dwelling Gran Slam as a result of a knee damage however the Australian mentioned he hopes to play on the French Open for the primary time since 2017, with an eye fixed on a return to the Tour in March at Indian Wells.

“I will positively have ‘French Open’ circled on my calendar,” Kyrgios instructed The Age.

“I feel I am as motivated as ever. I used to be prepared for the AO (Australian Open). I am simply going to make use of this as gas.”

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