Apr 11, 2023
Novak Djokovic made a winning return to competition in the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday but was made to work by his 198th-ranked Russian opponent as two-time defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced when his rival retired injured.
Djokovic is back on court after failing to get a waiver to enter the United States for last month's Indian Wells tournament and Miami Open due to his anti-Covid vaccination stance.
The world number one was in danger of losing the opening set against Russian qualifier Ivan Gakhov before easing through 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in 1hr 47min.
"I had never seen him play before today, and it's always difficult to face an opponent you don't know," said the Serbian, a winner on clay in Monte Carlo in 2013 and 2015.
Source: Yahoo Sports