Novak Djokovic dispelled any doubts about his shoulder injury which was responsible for his absence from the US Open after he grabbed the Japan Open title on Sunday. The World No. 1 crushed Australian qualifier John Millman 6-3, 6-2 to notch up his 10th win in a tournament main draw in his illustrious career which includes 16 Grand Slams.
The Serbian ace, who was involved in his first ever Japanese competition, never lost a single set to claim the trophy. The tournament was his first since his last minute pull out from the US Open due to left shoulder injury.
Djokovic, who began the week with a doubles match, grew in stature as the week progressed and never allowed his opponents to get the better of him, including world number 15 David Goffin.
In the final match, he grabbed the early break in the first set to enjoy a 3-1 lead after unleashing a series of sizzling serves and precision returns that forced Millman running along the baseline.
Dojkovic’s precision returns to deep corners coupled with elegant drop shots made Millman look clueless on the court. He fired six aces, never committed double faults, and scored points from 26 of his 30 successful first serves. He never faced a break point, while Millman managed to survive only one of four break points during the match.
Djokovic now heads to the Shanghai Masters, where he is the top seed. “I didn’t drop a set, so I played a fantastic tournament. Everything is positive in my experience on and off the court, the way I feel and motivated for Shanghai, going there with great confidence. I am hoping I can finish the season in this style,” he said.
The triumph in Tokyo has boosted his confidence going into the Olympics too. “Considering that Olympic Games are high always on my list of goals and priorities and wishes, I wanted to feel the surface and see and experience how it feels playing on this court,” Djokovic said.
“I am very glad now, seeing and experiencing how I play (in Ariake) because I feel comfortable. It feels great playing on this court… I am hoping that can also be the case in the Olympics.”