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)

              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)
            
              Serbia's Novak Djokovic (right) and Canada's Vasek Pospisil with fans before his doubles match during their Round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)
            
              Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during his 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)
            
              Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a return shot during his 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)
            
              Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts with Canada's Vasek Pospisil 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)
            
              Czech Linda Noskova serves to Russia's Daria Kasatkina during their Round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)
            
              Czech Linda Noskova makes a backhand return to Russia's Daria Kasatkina during their Round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)
            
              Russia's Daria Kasatkina reacts after winning a point against Czech Linda Noskova during their Round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)
            
              Russia's Daria Kasatkina makes a backhand return to Czech Linda Noskova during their Round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kelly Barnes)
            
              Russia's Daria Kasatkina makes a forehand return to Czech Linda Noskova during their Round of 32 match at the Adelaide International Tennis tournament in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (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.

AP

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) passes the ball over Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9)...
Associated Press

Grizzlies use Morant’s triple-double, rally to beat Pacers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 27 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a lackluster first half to defeat the Indiana Pacers 112-100 on Sunday. Brandon Clarke had 13 points, hitting all five of his shots as Memphis snapped a five-game losing streak […]
19 hours ago
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin (38) looks for a rebound as Washington Capitals defens...
Associated Press

Rielly scores first goal of season, Leafs down Capitals 5-1

TORONTO (AP) — Morgan Rielly scored his first goal of the season for Toronto in the Maple Leafs’ 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday. Michael Bunting, with a goal and an assist, William Nylander, Pierre Engvall and Zach Aston-Reese provided the rest of the offense for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov made 23 saves in […]
19 hours ago
Carolina Hurricanes' Sebastian Aho (20) celebrates with teammate Seth Jarvis (24) after scoring dur...
Associated Press

Aho scores again, Hurricanes beat Bruins 4-1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Sebastian Aho scored a goal for the fourth straight game and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Sunday in a matchup of the teams with the two best records in the NHL. Paul Stastny scored on a second-period power play, Seth Jarvis posted a goal in the third, […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on during an NFL football game against the Kansas...
Associated Press

AP source: Dolphins hire Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator

The Miami Dolphins have reached a deal with former Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio to become their defensive coordinator, a person familiar with the hire told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized. Fangio, who had been one of the […]
19 hours ago
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick, right, causes a fumble by San Francisco 49ers quarte...
Associated Press

Brock Purdy, 49ers ousted by Eagles in NFC title game

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Brock Purdy’s magical run from being the last pick in the NFL draft to winning his first seven starts for the San Francisco 49ers ended when Haason Reddick knocked him out in the first quarter of the NFC championship game. Purdy was forced to return in the second half despite an elbow […]
19 hours ago
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (74) talks with San Francisco 49ers offensive ta...
Associated Press

Hurts, Eagles soar into Super Bowl, rout 49ers for NFC title

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts can conduct a singalong about as well as he can orchestrate the kind of punishing scoring drives that sent the Eagles into the Super Bowl. At the end of one more triumph, Hurts stood on the stage on the field — as his Eagles teammates passed around the NFC championship […]
19 hours ago
Djokovic gets warm welcome in doubles loss at Adelaide