Australian Open: Djokovic returns with a win, beats Carballes Baena
After missing the 2022 Australian Open, Serbian ace Novak Djokovic returned to the year's first Grand Slam with a dominating win. The 21-time Grand Slam winner reached the second round at the 2023 Australian Open, beating Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets (6-3, 6-4, 6-0). Djokovic, the former world number one, is chasing a record-extending 10th title in Melbourne. Here are the key stats.
Stats of the match
Djokovic was all over Carballes Baena, having won a total of 93 points and 41 winners. The Serbian fired as many as nine aces in the match, with his opponent settling with four. Djokovic recorded a win percentage of 87 and 64 on his first and second serve, respectively. He smashed the match's fastest serve (202 KPH).
Djokovic returns with a bang
In January 2022, the border authorities in Australia canceled Djokovic's visa upon arrival. He was sent to immigration detention before his lawyers filed an appeal. Although his team won the case, the government re-canceled his visa. The judges rejected Djokovic's appeal thereafter. The Serbian had been cleared to compete at the Australian Open this time. And, he has returned with a bang!
Djokovic extends his unbeaten streak at Australian Open
Djokovic is unbeaten at the Australian Open since January 2018. He lost to Hyeon Chung in the last 16 clash in that edition. Djokovic holds the record for winning 25 consecutive matches at the Australian Open. His unbeaten streak commenced in 2011 and ended when he lost the quarter-finals in 2014. Djokovic could surpass his record in the upcoming edition.
Djokovic attains these feats
As per Opta, Djokovic now has a win-loss record of 67-2 in the first round at Grand Slams. Interestingly, his only two defeats in this regard came at the Australian Open (to Marat Safin in 2005 and Paul Goldstein in 2006). Besides, Djokovic has now won his last 89 Grand Slam matches when he won the opening set (incuding retirements).
35 consecutive wins in Australia
Earlier this month, Djokovic won the Adelaide International 1 after beating Sebastian Korda in the final. Djokovic won his second title in Adelaide after sealing the tournament back in 2007. Djokovic is now tied with Rafael Nadal for the fourth-most men's singles titles in the Open Era (92). The Serbian has now won 35 consecutive matches in Australia.
Djokovic eyes his 10th Australian Open title
Djokovic could become the only man with 10 titles at the Australian Open. He could just be the second man after Nadal (14 at French Open) to have won 10 or more titles at a Grand Slam. Overall (men or women), Djokovic is only behind Margaret Court, who owns 11 titles at the Australian Open.
Would Djokovic emulate Nadal?
Djokovic claimed his 21st Grand Slam title, breaking a tie with legend Federer, last year. He won a record-equaling seventh Wimbledon title to achieve this feat. At the Australian Open, Djokovic would want to emulate Nadal, who owns most major titles (22).