Djokovic beats Robredo 6-1, 6-2 in 1st match in 3 weeks
Mikhail Youzhny from Russia returns the ball to Malek Jaziri from Tunisia during a first day match of the Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Playing his first match since winning the Australian Open, top-seeded Novak Djokovic beat Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-1, 6-2 on Monday in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Djokovic's victory brought him one match away from his 700th career singles match win.
“Every milestone is very special, of course,” Djokovic said. “I wish that I make the 700th win in this tournament, obviously.”
Djokovic, a previous four-time champion in Dubai, took three weeks off after beating Andy Murray in the Australian Open final for his 11th Grand Slam title. He never faced a break point against the 39th-ranked Robredo.
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“Obviously playing first match in three weeks, different conditions, I didn't know how I'm going to start, whether or not I'm going to execute the game plan as I prepared,” Djokovic said. But everything went well.”
Djokovic's next opponent will be Tunisian wild-card entry Malek Jaziri, who won his first match of the year, beating Russian qualifier Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-1.
Sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain won his 400th career match, beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
The 34-year-old Lopez, the oldest player in the draw, is playing in Dubai for the 10th time. He reached the final in 2004 and 2008.
“I'm very happy, first of all, because I think is a good number, 400 wins,” Lopez said. “It's been long time since I start playing tennis, and I'm very happy I have been able to achieve this number. It means that I was also very lucky in terms of I didn't have injuries during my career.”
Also Monday, 66th-ranked Chung Hyeon of South Korea beat 39th-ranked Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-4.