French Open Novak Djokovic Happy to Play First Grand Slam Match of the Year

Novak Djokovic

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic played his first Grand Slam match of the French Open 2022 on Monday and said he enjoyed playing in front of 100 per cent spectators at Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Defending Roland Garros men’s singles champion Djokovic was deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open in January this year after his COVID-19 vaccination status was not cleared.

He took to the courts for a Grand Slam match on Monday and started his Roland Garros campaign with a straight-sets win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

The World No. 1 Player Registered a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 Win over the Japanese

“It’s nice to be back here and play. Obviously it’s a Grand Slam, historically these four tournaments have been the most important in our game,” Djokovic said after the win.

Djokovic said finding inspiration was not difficult as he was playing the Grand Slam, although the conditions at night were a little different from what he experienced during the day’s practice.

The Serbian Player, A 20-Time Grand Slam Winner, Also Found the Court A Bit Different From Last Year

He said, “Low bounce on the court and the ball is also coming slow. Nishioka surprised me in the beginning. I think he was playing well and it was difficult to stay in front of him. So, I had to serve well, which I thought was important. Done in moments, which helped me.”

Djokovic also found a different atmosphere at Ronald Garros from the past two years as restrictions on crowd capacity were lifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “Obviously in the last few years, due to Corona, 100 percent of the audience was not allowed here. But this year the fans are coming in full capacity, so of course, the atmosphere is different, you can feel the vibes. So it was fun playing here.”

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