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Novak Djokovic vs Lorenzo Musetti LIVE: Tennis result in Dubai plus Andy Murray score

The Serbian was playing for the first time since being deported from Australia ahead of the 2022 Australian Open

Jamie Braidwood
Tuesday 22 February 2022 09:48 GMT
(AFP via Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic made a winning return to tennis in his first match since being deported from Australia as the men’s world No 1 defeated Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets at the Dubai Duty Free Championships.

Djokovic, who was cheered on by a supportive crowd in Dubai, made light work of the 19-year-old Musetti to seal a 6-3 6-3 win in what was his first match in three months following the controversy that surrounded his Covid-19 vaccination status at the Australian Open last month.

The Serbian missed the opening grand slam of the year amid a battle in the Australian courts over his exemption for the vaccine that ultimately saw him deported from the country ahead of the tournament on “health and safety” grounds.

Djokovic, who remains unvaccinated, has said he is prepared to miss future grand slams over his stance but was able to enter the tournament in Dubai, a tournament where he is a five-time champion.

The world No 1 was welcomed onto the court and the crowd chanted ‘Novak, Novak!’ upon the 20-time major champion taking the opening break of serve midway through the first set.

Djokovic had not played a competitive match since the Davis Cup finals in early December of last year but it did not take long for the Serbian to get back up to speed as he swiftly saw off the challenge of the highly-rated Musetti.

Follow live reaction from Djokovic vs Musetti - after Andy Murray outlasted Chris O’Connell in three sets


*Djokovic 1-1 Musetti

Credit to Musetti, who stares down the barrel of a 0-30 start on his opening service game against Djokovic to land a winner out wide and a volley at the net.

Djokovic nets on the final point but this has been a fast and exciting start.

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 18:31

Djokovic 1-0 Musetti*

What a start from Musetti! He flashes a forehand past Djokovic to win the opening point of the match on the Serbian’s serve, before unloading on a forehand winner to move to 0-30!

The Italian, who is just 19, can’t keep a forehand in play on the next point, which was a chance on the Djokovic second serve. Djokovic then lands his first winner of the match as he opens up a forehand winner across court.

Djokovic is then able to wrap up the game with a couple of simple points, sealed by a Musetti error into the net.

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 18:29

Novak Djokovic vs Lorenzo Musetti

Novak Djokovic is back on a tennis court ahead of a competitive match. The world No 1 is given a welcoming reception from the crowd in Dubai as he follows Lorenzo Musetti out onto the court, and there are chants of ‘Novak, Novak’ during the coin toss.

There are plenty of Serbian flags in the stands, too.

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 18:19

Novak Djokovic to follow Andy Murray

Novak Djokovic was expected to be on court at around 4:30pm this afternoon but Andy Murray has pushed the schedule back.

He will be back on court against Lorenzo Musetti next.

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 18:10

Murray defeats O’Connell in three-set epic

Murray: “I enjoyed the result. What went on in the middle was not so easy. I was very frustrated early in the match and I couldn’t find my game. I was able to serve better as the match went on and that helped and I turned it on at the end.

“Winning matches like that is very satisfying.”

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 18:08

Murray defeats O’Connell in three-set epic

Murray 6-7, 6-4, 7-5 O’Connell

Murray makes a great start on O’Connell’s serve as he wins the opening point at the net, before O’Connell sends a wild forehand wide.

AND WOW - how has Murray done that?! Chasing down not one, but two O’Connell smashes, Murray hangs in there before reaching a drop shot and flicking the winner down the line!

It sets up three match points - O’Connell saves the first, but a wild forehand from O’Connell seals it!

Andy Murray is through to the second round - in two hours and 51 minutes!

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 18:06

Murray vs O’Connell updates ahead of Djokovic return

Murray 6-7, 6-4, 6-5 O’Connell*

O’Connell finds himself under pressure at 30-30 after a loose couple of forehands but digs himself out of trouble as he forces Murray to net.

Murray then holds to love in less than 90 seconds, which is welcomed after the marathon previous game that saw him save four break points.

We’re heading for a deciding tie-break unless Murray can get the break of serve next.

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 18:01

Murray vs O’Connell updates ahead of Djokovic return

Murray 6-7, 6-4, 5-4 O’Connell*

Murray is so frustrated out there. After being in a decent position on serve, O’Connell hits back to force a break point. Murray saves it after playing a daring drop shot, but O’Connell brings him short with a drop shot of his own as Murray kicks the net in anger.

Murray saves the second, only to find himself yelling at his box after another shot drifts long. Murray waits for O’Connell to make the mistake as he saves the third, before moving to game point with a delicate drop shot at the net.

Murray can’t get himself in the clear, however, and he drops in a double fault to bring up a fourth break point for O’Connell. The Australian then has a huge chance on a Murray second-serve but hits the forehand into the net as he looked for a winner.

And finally, Murray whips a forehand winner down the line to take the hold. Just.

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 17:53

Murray vs O’Connell updates ahead of Djokovic return

*Murray 6-7, 6-4, 4-4 O’Connell

There’s the latest sign of agitation from Murray, as he passes up the chance to attack the O’Connell second serve at 0-15 with a backhand that missed the line, before shouting ‘Why?!’ into the night sky.

It was a chance, and O’Connell moves on with the hold with a lovely pick-up at the net.

Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 17:39

Murray vs O’Connell updates ahead of Djokovic return

Murray 6-7, 6-4, 4-3 O’Connell*

After O’Connell is the latest player to cruise through a service game, Murray drops in a double fault but responds well with a forehand down the line to move to 40-15.

O’Connell then chucks in a loose backhand down the line as Murray moves on with the hold.

At two hours, 20 minutes, this is not the straight-forward opening match that many expected when Murray was drawn against the Australian qualifier.

(Getty Images)
Jamie Braidwood21 February 2022 17:34

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