Novak Djokovic will once again hold the top spot in the rankings when he returns to the US Open.

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Match Summery

Djokovic returned to the tournament this year after missing it the year before, and on Monday night, he easily overcame Frenchman Alexandre Muller, winning 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner was forced to wait while Coco Gauff won in three sets to start the evening session at Arthur Ashe Stadium and when the US Open was hosting a ceremony to celebrate 50 years of equal prize money.

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I understood it would be a late night for me and a late start to the game, Djokovic said. “However, I must admit that I was eager to play on the court. I didn’t care if I started after midnight since I had been anticipating this day for a few years: playing the night session on the biggest, loudest arena in our sport.

Djokovic was refused admission to the United States last year due to his absence of a COVID-19 immunization.. The Serbian player’s 2021 final loss to Daniil Medvedev stopped him from completing the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969.His first game at Flushing Meadows following that loss came on Monday.

The 36-year-old received a burst of applause from the fans as he emerged from the tunnel and onto the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, letting him know they had missed him.

As he welcomed the applause of a record audience of more than 30,000 people, which included former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, it was evident that he had missed them as well.

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It’s always a joy to play in front of you people, so I was excited to get out on the court,” Djokovic said to the New York audience. “We appreciate your attendance, and we also thank everyone who stayed until almost one in the morning.

“Arthur Ashe’s night sessions are always something special.”

Before Muller eventually scored, the No. 2 seed won the first eight games and the first set in only 23 minutes. Muller lifted his arms in joy after cutting the second set’s lead to 2-1.

The first set was almost flawless tennis, kind of lights-out tennis,” remarked Djokovic. I most likely knew the response to each shot he had in his arsenal.

Djokovic became 17-0 in first-round matches at the US Open, cementing his return to the top rank on September 11. Djokovic just needed to advance to the second round to guarantee that he would succeed Carlos Alcaraz as the top player because he was unable to compete last year and did not have any ranking points to defend. This week marks Djokovic’s 390th consecutive week at the top of the rankings, breaking his previous best.

Alcaraz, who defeated Djokovic in a thrilling Wimbledon final in July, will begin his championship defense against Dominik Koepfer of Germany on Tuesday.

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Next up for Djokovic is the Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who defeated American Ethan Quinn in straight sets.


On Day 2 of the 2023 US Open, the first round of competition comes to a close. The reigning men’s champion Carlos Alcaraz and the two-time women’s champion Venus Williams lead a talented lineup that also includes past winners Daniil Medvedev, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka. Aryna Sabalenka, the winner of the 2018 Aussie Open, Marketa Vondrousova, Ons Jabeur, Barbora Krejcikova, the winner of the 2021 Roland Garros, and fan favorites Gael Monfils, John Isner, Elina Svitolina, Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys, and Jannik Sinner round out an unrivaled Day 2 lineup in us open.


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