Novak Djokovic made a winning come back at Flushing Meadows for the first time in two years. The World No 1 defeated France’s Alexandre Muller 6-0 6-2 6-3 in the first-round at the US Open. The 23-times grand slam champion was absent from the tournament due to covid and vaccination restrictions.
“Well, Grand Slams are the biggest goals that I have in my career at the moment. I always speak about that, that I aim to peak and perform my best in Grand Slams. I don’t know how many more slams I’ll have,” said Djokovic at the pre-tournament pres conference.
He also shared his thoughts on not making it to the 2022 US Open. He said, “No, there was no anger. It was last year during the Open that I felt it’s a pity that I’m not there. I felt sad for not being able to participate. But this year, I mean, is this year. I don’t think about what happened in the last year or last couple of years. Just focusing my attention to this year’s tournament.”
Novak will look forward to winning his 24th Grand Slam in New York. He was disqualified in 2020 when he swatted a ball in frustration, inadvertently hitting a line judge, and in 2021 he was left heartbroken when Russian Daniil Medvedev ended his quest for a calendar Grand Slam in straight sets in the final.
Last year, he was unable to travel to the tournament after U.S. authorities required COVID-19 vaccinations for non-nationals to enter the country.
Also making her way back to the US open, Caroline Wozniacki, defeated Tatiana Prozorova 6-3 6-2 to cap an impressive return to the Grand Slam stage since her last outing at the 2020 Australian Open. Wozniacki returned to competitive tennis earlier this month after more than three years away. She next faces two-times major winner Petra Kvitova in the second round.
Former World Number 1, Caroline Wozniacki returned to the tennis court after a sabbatical of more than three years, at the Canadian Open in Montreal. The Danish player had announced retirement in 2020 to focus on family life after a successful career that included being the World No 1 and winning the 2018 Australian Open. However, in June, she declared her comeback into professional tennis.
Meanwhile, women’s defending champion and World number 1 Iga Swiatek started her US Open defence on a winning note, beating Swede Rebecca Peterson 6-0 6-1.