Tel Aviv | Djokovic dismisses wrist injury

Novak Djokovic is set to make his return to the tour this week in Tel Aviv where he will contest both the singles and doubles.

I feel good and I am happy that mini injury is behind me. Knock on wood, I hope it stays that way Novak Djokovic

The Serbian former world No.1 has been absent from the tour since winning Wimbledon though he played in the Laver Cup last week as a member of Team Europe where he put on an excellent performance to take out Frances Tiafoe for the loss of four games and then partner Matteo Berrettini to take the doubles points, only to be defeated the next day by Felix Auger-Aliassime in a tight two setter, revealing later he was suffering from a wrist injury.

That injury seems to have been overcome as he has been reported as saying there were no problems with it after practicing for the Tel Aviv Watergen Open where, as the top seed, he has received a first-round bye and will play either Thiego Monteiro of Brazil or the Spaniard, Pablo Andujar in the second round.

“I practiced for almost two hours and everything was OK,” he told Sasa Osmo an Israeli journalist.

“I feel good and I am happy that mini injury is behind me. Knock on wood, I hope it stays that way.”

He has also agreed to play doubles with Israel’s Jonathan Erlich who invited him to play as he is on the verge of retiring.

Djokovic, in accepting the invitation, wrote: “I know this is going to be your last tournament.

“The best memory of my life in doubles was with you.

“You gave me the pleasure of winning the only doubles title of my life in Queen’s.

“You’ve always been very friendly towards me and towards my team. Everybody loves you and everybody will miss you on the tour. I look forward to seeing you in Tel Aviv in your ‘last dance.'”

Meanwhile in first-round singes action, Holland’s Botic Van de Zandschulp cruised past Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 hitting 28 winners to his opponent’s six.

Liam Broady , pictured at this years Wimbledon, has reached the second round in Tel Aviv having come through qualifying.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Next up for the Dutchman is Britain’s Liam Broady who successfully negotiated his was into the main draw via the qualifying event where he dispatched the Serbian wildcard Hamad Medjedovic 7-5 6-3 to make round two.

Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etchevery edged past 2021 Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev 6-2 6-7(0) 6-4 to record the best win of his career.

Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech came back from one set down to beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with the third seed Diego Schwartzman from Argentina.

Also through is Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori who broke American JJ Wolf five times to secure his 6-3 6-2 win.

Sebastian Korda of the US beat Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4 6-4 setting up a second-round match against compatriot Maxime Cressy, the fourth seed.

And Austria’s Dominic Thiem, on a wild card ticket following his various injuries, struggled past Serbia’s Laslo Djere 5-7 7-6(3) 6-4 to set up an intriguing encounter with the second seeded Croatian, Marin Cilic, both being former US Open champions.



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