The welcome he received in Australia was better than he could have imagined, according to Novak Djokovic, who added on Tuesday that the positive energy would show in his tennis as he pursues a 22nd Grand Slam title this month.
The welcome he received in Australia was better than he could have imagined, according to Novak Djokovic, who added on Tuesday that the positive energy would show in his tennis as he pursues a 22nd Grand Slam title this month. The Serbian star, who will compete for a 10th victory at the Australian Open, has returned to the nation after being expelled the previous year for refusing to receive the Covid-19 vaccination. In spite of the government lifting the three-year ban, Djokovic was allowed to make a triumphant comeback at the Adelaide International, defeating Frenchman Constant Lestienne 6-3, 6-2.
The 35-year-old received the same treatment on a crowded center court as he did when he played a losing doubles match on Monday.
"It feels good to be back. It was unquestionably a very welcome surprise to see the crowd so enthusiastic for my first match. He said at a press conference, "Much love and support.
"Obviously, that gave me motivation and enabled me to play the best game I could on the court".
There were many Serbian flags; although I am aware of the size of the Serbian community in Adelaide, I didn't anticipate such a large turnout. I am very grateful to them".
Last year's Australian Open was overshadowed by Djokovic being forced to board a plane just before the match because of a contentious legal dispute regarding his visa status.
He held "no grudges" and had moved on, but it left a bitter taste.
Due to the events of a year ago, he claimed, "it was different coming to Australia this year than any other year.".
However, a year has passed since then, and I have moved on and am now looking forward. It is also a long time ago.
"There is no justification for concentrating on dot. I don't want to focus on the negatives because that is what I will become if I do. What you focus on becomes your reality.
"I don't harbor resentments; I'm here to play tennis, partake in sports, and spread positive vibes".
"People have been very kind and generous with me since day one," he continued. So far, it has been a wonderful experience".
Djokovic was pleased with his performance this early in the season, which is encouraging for his Australian Open run at Melbourne Park starting on January 16.
The first match following a longer break is always challenging because you're unsure of how you'll get going, he said.
"I'm happy I was able to complete everything successfully; from the first to the last point, I was focused and composed".
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