Djokovic Back With A Bang In Dubai
Serb sweeps into second round
He's spent the past three weeks relaxing with his family after capturing his 11th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, but Novak Djokovic picked up exactly where he left off as he returned to action with aplomb on Monday evening in Dubai.
The Serb advanced to the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in just 66 minutes, sweeping aside Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-2.
Djokovic surrendered just seven points on serve in the dominant display, breaking Robredo four times from 13 opportunities.
"Obviously playing my first match in three weeks, different conditions, I didn't know how I would start, whether or not I would execute the game plan as I prepared myself to," said Djokovic. "But everything went well. Very few things went wrong.
"I was putting constant pressure on his serve. I returned very, very well. Served solid and was aggressive from the back of the court. I cannot be happier with this performance."
The 28-year-old Djokovic is now just one win away from claiming his 700th career victory. The Belgrade native will face Malek Jaziri for that honour as he bids to reach the quarter-finals.
"Every milestone is very special, of course. I wish that I make the 700th win in this tournament, obviously," said Djokovic. "But it's not going to affect too much my preparation for the next match. It's not going to change too much the way I approach the next match or this tournament. Of course I'll be very pleased if it happens here.
"Jaziri told me he had a great off-season and it pays off. He won a couple of matches in Australia and here. Let's see what happens. He plays quite different from Robredo. He's standing closer to the line, he has flat shots and better serve. Got to be ready for it."
Djokovic is a perfect 13-0 at the start of 2016, having triumphed in Doha (d. Nadal) before winning his sixth Australian Open trophy in Melbourne (d. Murray).
The right-hander is chasing his fifth title at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in Dubai, where he lifted the trophy in 2009 (d. Ferrer), 2010 (d. Youzhny), 2011 (d. Federer) and 2013 (d. Berdych).
Canada's Vasek Pospisil notched his second win of the season as he battled past Lucas Pouille 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes. The 25 year old goes on to face Marcos Baghdatis, who defeated Viktor Troicki 7-6(2), 6-2 in 90 minutes.