Novak Djokovic will need a few more matches to catch a full rhythm, although he easily reached the triumph at the start of the Masters in Cincinnati.
The Serbian tennis player celebrated after Alejandro Davidovic Fokin handed over the match to him.
It was the first duel for the Serbian ace after two years on American territory, if we look at the singles competition.
“Something is positive, something negative. But, at the end of the day, it’s kind of expected. The first match after returning. It will probably take me a few sets to get things going. I was surprised how fast the ball was and how fast it flew through the air. The balls bounce a lot, they are ‘alive’,” said Djokovic and added:
“It is quite difficult to control the ball here, I mean the Central Court. I don’t know how it is with the others”.
Defending champion, Croatian tennis player Borna Corić was eliminated by Hubert Hurkacz in the second round,
“There is that element of defending champions, defending 1,000 points in this case. That’s a big obstacle. It’s a big challenge. Sometimes you use it as fuel, it gives you more motivation. Sometimes it can wear you down and make you feel like you have too much weight on your shoulders. For someone like Borna, he lost today, he won the tournament last year. I’m sure he would agree that it’s easier to get into the position of going for the trophy than defending it. Do you know what I mean?” Novak said and added:
“It is also a kind of mind game. During my career, and especially in the second part of my career, I didn’t allow myself or people or the media… When I would talk to them, I wouldn’t allow myself to think about the fact that I am the defending champion. I would put myself in the same position as others, so we have the same starting point. So every year I start from scratch. I played the tournament like I was playing it for the first time. I guess it depends on the player himself and it is not easy to find yourself in such a situation. It’s normal that for players who haven’t had too many victories, it’s all something new. It’s a feeling that creates a lot of pressure.”
Djokovic will play against Gael Monfils on Friday at 02:30.