Novak Djokovic shows respect to Rafael Nadal

Djokovic reflected on Nadal's Australian Open victory after his Dubai first round win.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Novak Djokovic shows respect to Rafael Nadal

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic thinks Dubai is a perfect place for him to kick off his season as he was happy with the support he received in his opener at the tournament. Djokovic, a five-time Dubai champion, saw off rising Italian star Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-3 in the Dubai first round.

Djokovic was scheduled to start his season at the Australian Open but he didn't get a chance to compete at Melbourne Park after the Australian authorities revoked his visa. "I think Dubai is a perfect place for me to start a season because of the support and the fans that showed up tonight and really cheered me on the way they did," Djokovic said after beating Musetti, per Barron's.

"They exceeded my best expectations, so to say, in terms of the atmosphere." Djokovic on his respect for Rafael Nadal Djokovic didn't get a chance to compete for a record 21st Grand Slam title and a fourth consecutive Australian Open title.

Nadal took the advantage of Djokovic's absence from the Australian Open as he beat world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final to lift a record 21st Grand Slam title. Djokovic admitted watching the Australian Open final was hard for him but added he has a great respect for the Spaniard.

"The (Australian Open) final, I was trying not to watch it, but then I had my household watching, basically everyone was watching, my wife and my kids, so I had to follow it," reflected Djokovic. "But congratulations to Rafa.

Incredible performance. Amazing fighter he is. "I got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless. Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Australian Open
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