After a two-year absence from singles competition in the United States, world number two Novak Djokovic succeeded at the Cincinnati Open. The 23-time Grand Slam champion dominated the opening set, winning 6-4 against Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. However, the match took an unexpected turn when Fokina retired early in the second set due to a back injury.
Djokovic’s Mixed Feelings
Despite the win, Djokovic expressed “mixed emotions” about the outcome. The Serbian tennis star empathised with Fokina, stating, “I really like Alejandro. We train a lot with each other in Spain. It’s unfortunate. I really hope he can recover and play well in New York.” Djokovic further elaborated on the unexpected end, mentioning that while it’s always great to secure a win, the manner in which it concluded left him with a bittersweet feeling.
The Match’s Dynamics
The match began with Djokovic showing symptoms of rust, having to save two early break points. However, as the set went on, he seemed to find his groove. When Fokina took a medical timeout with the score 3-4 in the opening set, the momentum switched considerably. Djokovic took advantage of this by breaking Fokina’s serve straight after. Although the Spaniard broke back, Djokovic’s tenacity saw him win the set 6-4.
Djokovic’s outstanding record in the first round since the start of the 2019 season now stands at 48-1. He is now preparing to meet Gael Monfils, against whom he has an unblemished 18-0 record. Djokovic showed praise for Monfils, saying, “He’s an amazing guy.” Someone I genuinely admire and respect as a person.” He also emphasised Monfils’ resilience in overcoming injuries throughout the years.
Cincinnati Open’s Significance
The Cincinnati Open holds a special place in Djokovic’s heart. He reminisced about his victory in 2018, stating, “Winning it in 2018 obviously is a highlight for me, because it was the only Masters I hadn’t won for years.” He also mentioned his past duels with Roger Federer, which added to the tournament’s significance for him.
The Road Ahead
Tennis enthusiasts around the world are keeping a close eye on Djokovic’s progress in the Cincinnati Open. Fans are keen to see how he performs in this competition and the upcoming US Open after his surprise loss in the Wimbledon final. Djokovic is unquestionably a force to be reckoned with, owing to his extraordinary skill and dedication. However, he will have great competition as the event unfolds, and only time will tell if he can add another Cincinnati Open championship to his historic list of accomplishments.
To summarise, Djokovic’s comeback to the Cincinnati Open was marked by an unexpected change of events, but it sets the stage for an interesting tournament ahead. Tennis fans around the world are in for a treat as he prepares to face Monfils in the following round.