Novak Djokovic defeated Jiri Lehecka 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 in his second match of the season. World no. 1 struggled a bit with a wrist injury, feeling issues during the warmup and working on it throughout the duel. Djokovic skipped the mixed doubles clash between Serbia and the Czech Republic, resting his wrist and hoping to compete without problems on Wednesday against Australia.
Djokovic should play his third match of 2024 against Alex de Minaur. Novak and Jiri competed against each other for the first time, and the more experienced player outplayed the youngster behind the first and second serve.
Djokovic lost serve two times and converted 11 break chances into six return games, which was enough to control the scoreboard. Novak served well in the opener, facing no break points and challenging Jiri to follow those numbers to stay in touch.
World no. 1 held at love in the encounter's first game with a booming serve and held at 1-1 after deuce. Lehecka denied two break points in the fourth game with winners before Djokovic seized the fourth with a forehand crosscourt winner for 3-1.
Novak served well in the fifth game, landing a forehand down the line winner and cementing his lead. Jiri missed a forehand in the sixth game, losing serve for the second time and sending Novak 5-1 ahead.
Novak Djokovic required a medical timeout on his right wrist against Lehecka.
1 wrapped up the opener with a service winner in game seven, hoping for more in set number two. Djokovic broke at 15 in the second set's third game, moving a set and a break in front and closer to the finish line. The Serb clinched the fourth game at love, increasing the lead and sailing toward victory.
However, Lehecka suddenly discovered his A-game on the return, breaking back in game six after Djokovic's wayward forehand. The Czech cracked a forehand down the line winner in the eighth game, securing his second break in a row and opening a 5-3 gap.
Novak extended the battle with a break in game nine, and they introduced a tie break after three fine holds. Jiri landed an ace for 3-2 and welcomed Novak's backhand mistake for a mini-break. The young gun fired a service winner at 5-3, earning two set points and seizing the first after the Serb's loose forehand.
Novak received a medical timeout on his right wrist ahead of the third set, recovering his game and making a fresh start. Djokovic landed an ace in the first game and seized the third break point in the next one with a backhand return winner.
The Serb held at 30 for 3-0 and delivered another break a few minutes later to cement his triumph. Djokovic painted a forehand down the line winner in the fifth game for 5-0, moving closer to a bagel. Lehecka avoided it with a hold at 15, and world no.
1 served for the victory at 5-1. Novak forced Jiri's mistake, holding at 15 and celebrating his second victory from as many matches in 2024. "My wrist issues started during the warmup, and I had constant treatment. It's not a major concern, as I finished the match and played well. Hopefully, I will be fine for tomorrow," Novak Djokovic said.