Dominant Djokovic Starts Astana Open Campaign

Novak Djokovic (photo: KTF)

ASTANA/STARNBERG, October 5, 2022

Novak Djokovic began his Astana Open campaign in dominant fashion with a solid 6-1, 6-1 first-round win over Cristian Garin of Chile on Wednesday. The fourth seed, who entered the ATP 500 hard-court event in Kazakhstan with a wild card, struck four aces, didn’t face a break point and capitalized on five of his own eight break-point chances to prevail in 61 minutes.

“From the start to the end, [it was] a great performance,” said Djokovic, champion of last week’s Tel Aviv Open. “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.”

The 35-year-old Serbian will next take on 34th-ranked Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.

Tsitispas books quarterfinal berth

In second-round action, Stefanos Tsitispas fought past Italian qualifier Luca Nardi 7-6(2), 7-6(3). The No. 3 seed from Greece outpointed his rival 81-67 in one hour and 45 minutes. Up next for Tsitsipas will be either home favourite Alexander Bublik or seventh-seeded Pole Hubert Hurkacz.

One day after beating World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, Belgian lucky loser David Goffin fell 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to French veteran Adrian Mannarino, who’s through to the quarterfinals. The 34-year-old lefty will next play fifth favourite Andrey Rublev. The Russian ended the run of Chinese qualifier Zhizhen Zhang with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in only 58 minutes.

In the bottom half of the draw, Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain backed up his first-round upset of Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime with a 6-1, 7-6(5) triumph against Russian lucky loser Pavel Kotov. The encounter lasted one hour and 34 minutes.