‘Motivated’ Novak Djokovic blows past Cristian Garin in Kazakhstan
Novak Djokovic rolled into Nur-Sultan off the back of a tournament win in Tel Aviv last week and quickly adjusted to conditions at the Kazakhstan National Tennis Center.
Djokovic cruised past Cristian Garin 6-1, 6-1 in 62 minutes not missing a beat as he quickly found his level.
Botic van de Zandschulp awaits Djokovic in the second round.
Speaking after the match Djokovic said that victory in Tel Aviv has given him extra motivation as he is reminded of the winning feeling.
Djokovic was laser-accurate with his groundstrokes and Garin didn’t seem to stand a chance the way he was striking the ball.
“From the start to the end, [it was] a great performance,” said Djokovic after the match.
“Playing in a new tournament, different conditions, the first match is never easy.
“Obviously you are looking to see how you are going to adapt, but I did it perfectly, really, played as well as I can.
“I just made him work and used every opportunity that was presented to me.”
Garin was immediately under pressure and after saving a break point to hold at 1-1 wasn’t able to prevent Djokovic from snatching his next two service games.
Djokovic’s game suited the court at the Astana Open to a tee.
He credited experience with helping him adapt to different conditions having been the only player to date to claim ATP Tour titles on three different surfaces to date this year.
“I was lucky that throughout my career I was actually pretty quick in adjusting to different conditions and surfaces,” said Djokovic.
“But I think that experience helps of knowing what to do.
“But [also] winning a tournament, [as opposed to] losing in a final or semis, makes a difference mentally.
“Coming into this tournament I feel confident, I feel excited, I feel motivated, so I think that helps as well to adjust quickly.”
Sofia Open champion Marc-Andrea Huesler wasn’t able to keep his winnig streak going in Kazakhstan as he was quickly dispatched by Finn Emil Ruusuvuori.
The Young Finn will face former World No 1 Daniil Medvedev in the second round.
In other results, Roberto Bautista Agut backed up his first-round upset of Felix Auger-Aliassime with a 6-1, 7-6(5) triumph against lucky loser Pavel Kotov, while Tel Aviv runner up Marin Cilic pulled himself back from the brink.
Ninth-seeded Cilic dug deep to snatch a hard-fought 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-2 win against Oscar Otte.
Cilic will next play Karen Khachanov for a spot in the quarter-finals.
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