January 17, (THEWILL) – In the first round of the Australian Open Men’s Singles tournament, Novak Djokovic returned to Rod Laver Arena and secured a win against Roberto Carballes Baena, with a score of 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.
This marks Djokovic’s 22nd consecutive win at the Australian Open, as he continues his quest for a record-tying 22nd Grand Slam title and 10th at Melbourne Park.
Despite dealing with a hamstring injury, Djokovic received a warm reception from the crowd and expressed his happiness to be back at the tournament where he has had the most success in his career. He also acknowledged the special significance of the court at the Australian Open.
Carballes Baena, a 29-year-old Spaniard, who has mostly played on the Challenger circuit, put up a strong fight but ultimately fell short in his bid to claim a top-10 scalp and top-50 win at a major outside of Roland Garros.
Throughout the match, Djokovic showed his skill and determination, saving three straight breakpoints at 2-2 in the first set and winning 12 consecutive points to take control. He also had a 28-shot rally in the second set and sealed the game with a powerful backhand down the line. Despite the injury, Djokovic hardly dropped a point in the rest of the match, securing his place in the next round.