Novak Djokovic has eased into the second round of the Dubai Championships after a comfortable 6-1 6-2 win over Malek Jaziri. The world No 1 was playing in Dubai for the first time since 2016.
It was also his first match in three weeks following his win at the Australian Open and he made a rusty start with two double faults in his opening service game before holding on and promptly breaking his opponent in the very next game.
The world No 1 then sealed the double break in just 19 minutes when Jaziri put a tame backhand into the net.
The gulf in class between the two men became increasingly evident as Jaziri struggled to stay with Djokovic in rallies.
Jaziri finally got on the board after 25 minutes which brought a smile to his face and a warm reception from the fans.
But Djokovic hit back emphatically and wrapped up the set 6-1 with his third ace of the set.
The first four games of the second set went with serve as Jaziri finally appeared to get a foothold in the match.
However, a third double fault by the Tunisian gifted the crucial break to Djokovic.
Djokovic then consolidated the break with a comfortable service hold and broke Jaziri for the fourth time with a deft lob.
And after just 60 minutes of action, Djokovic finished off the match with his seventh ace of the match.
It is now 14 wins in a row for Djokovic after victories at the ATP Cup and Australian Open.
He said: “I’m very pleased. I haven’t played in Dubai for three years and I missed it.
“I love this court, I love this city. I’ve been coming to Dubai traditionally in December to prepare for Australia.
“It is a great city and it is a pleasure to be here again.”
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