Djokovic gets warm welcome in doubles loss at Adelaide

Jan 1, 2023, 9:06 AM | Updated: Jan 2, 2023, 5:12 am

Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Canada's Vasek Pospisil plays a return shot during their doubles match ...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Canada's Vasek Pospisil plays a return shot during their doubles match against Tomislav Brkic of Bosnia and Ecuador's Gonzalo Escobar during their Round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)

(AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic lost his doubles match but received a warm welcome from the crowd at the Adelaide International on Monday.

The 21-time major winner was deported from Australia a year ago after arriving unvaccinated against COVID-19 at a time when the country was still subject to strict quarantine regulations and proof of vaccination.

His first match was a low-key doubles encounter alongside Vasek Pospisil, and the pair lost 4-6 6-3 (10-5) to Tomislav Brkic and Gonzalo Escobar.

Questions about how he would be received were quickly answered when Djokovic’s supporters flocked to the stadium to welcome him back.

Djokovic begins his singles campaign on Tuesday against Constant Lestienne as he builds up to the Australian Open, where he is looking for a record-extending 10th title.

Also Monday, Czech teenager Linda Noskova produced one of the first shocks of the 2023 season, beating eighth-ranked Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3 in the opening round.

The 18-year-old Noskova came through a tough qualifying draw in which she beat world No. 58 Anna Kalinskaya and No. 43 Anastasia Potapova before achieving the biggest win of her career over third-seeded Kasatkina.

The 102-ranked Noskova is competing in only her fifth main draw on the WTA Tour and had never played, let alone beaten, a top-10 player. She had been 0-2 against top-20 opponents.

Her best win before Monday had been over 38th-ranked Alizé Cornet in the second round en route to the semifinals in Prague last July.

Noskova took the first set comfortably in 46 minutes and broke to lead 4-3 in the second before Kasatkina broke back. She served for the match at 6-5 in but Kasatkina again fought back to take the set in a tiebreaker.

But the Czech revived to win the deciding set and the match in just over 2-1/2 hours, finishing with a sweeping cross-court forehand on match point. She broke Kasatkina’s serve eight times overall, hit 57 winners off the ground and won 21 of the 24 points when she came to net.

Kasatkina had an eventful 2022 season during which she broke back into the top 10. She also came out as gay and openly denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Noskova reached a ranking high of 87 in 2022 and qualified for the main draws at the French and U.S. Opens.

“It’s been a lot of ups and downs but I think it was a really good season,” Noskova said. “I started around 300, I think, and then around 100 now, so it’s a pretty good progress.

“Obviously I need to pick it up a little bit to get back into the (top) 100 but hopefully I’m going to achieve it this year.”

Noskova now will face the winner of the match between Australia’s Priscilla Hon and American qualifier Claire Liu.

Later, fourth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova of Russia beat Amanda Anisimova of the United States 6-3, 6-0.

On the men’s side, Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan upset fifth-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.


More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Djokovic gets warm welcome in doubles loss at Adelaide