By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Novak Djokovic made sure his US Open return will be worth remembering after asserting his mastery over Alexandre Muller of France in three-straight sets- 6.0, 6.2, 6.3- last August 29, 2023, held at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Serbian tennis superstar was waiting for this moment after skipping last year’s US Open due to the COVID-19 restrictions USA still implemented toward foreign visitors.
Now that everything is back to normal, there is no stopping Djokovic’s quest for a 24th Grand Slam championship title in the hardcourts of Queens, New York.
Electrified by his fans as soon as he walked onto the court, Djokovic put on a masterclass in his first-round match as he dominated the Frenchman from start to finish.
In just almost two hours of tennis action, Djokovic was able to tally a total of 78 points won and also notched 35 impressive receiving points.
It was a flawless performance indeed. From his consistent service possessions to his on-court mastery, the Serbian legend just had a walk in the park and never received any challenge after the opening set.
It was in the second frame that Muller was able to win a game point but only racked up two after the first and second sets.
Djokovic continued his wizardry in the third and final set and was all over the place scoring his signature acrobatic forehands when Muller decided to play the placement strategy, hoping that he would wear out and fold in the crucial stretch.
However, Djokovic fought fire with fire and gave Muller a dose of his own medicine in the last two set points of the match.
It was a highly efficient serving game for Djokovic after finishing the first-round duel with 71% off the first service winning percentage.
Djokovic also committed fewer unforced errors than Muller, capping off his victorious return in the US Open with a clinical masterpiece.