Novak Djokovic has moved on to the second round of the Japan Open, continuing his comeback from injury and compensating for his elimination from doubles competition.
Djokovic beat Australian Alexei Popyrin 6-4, 6-2 to move on to the second round where he will take on wild card entry Go Soeda.
The win also served as Djokovic’s first competitive match since retiring with a left-shoulder injury during his fourth-round clash with Stan Wawrinka at the U.S. Open, and he spoke about his shoulder following his victory.
“My shoulder is good, I didn’t feel any pain in today’s match,” Djokovic said (h/t ESPN)
“I thought from beginning to end that I played very well, very consistent, high level, good intensity, and plenty of chances on his serve. I was able to step it up in the second set and finished the match well.
“I saw Soeda’s match yesterday. Playing at home is always extra motivation, so I’m sure all the Japanese players feel inspired to play their best tennis, and that’s something I’m expecting from him tomorrow.”
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