Novak Djokovic reaches quarter-finals of Tel Aviv Open 2022

Novak Djokovic plays a singles tournament for the first time since winning Wimbledon in July

JAKARTA, Novak Djokovic, playing in a singles tournament for the first time since winning Wimbledon in July, reached the quarter-finals in Tel Aviv on Thursday after a straight-set victory over Spaniard Pablo Andujar.

Djokovic won 6-0, 6-3 over his 115th-ranked opponent in 86 minutes after hitting 30 winners and breaking Andujar’s break four times.

He was in control against the Spaniard whom he has now beaten three times by winning the first seven games of the meeting.

“The first game started in a perfect way,” said Djokovic, who last played for Israel as a teenager 16 years ago in a Davis Cup draw.

The former world number one has not played singles since winning his seventh Wimbledon title 10 weeks ago.

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He missed this year’s US Open due to vaccination issues.

His only other appearance since Wimbledon was the Laver Cup team tournament in London last week where he witnessed Roger Federer’s retirement from tennis.

But Djokovic, 35 and now world number seven, insists he has no retirement plans.

“I still want to play tennis even though I’ve achieved almost everything you can achieve in tennis,” said Djokovic, who has 21 Grand Slam trophies, one trophy behind Rafael Nadal’s 22 Grand Slams.

“I’m still excited and eager to play at the highest professional level,” he continued.

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He will face Canada’s number 149, Vasek Pospisil, in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Djokovic holds a 5-0 win-loss record against the 32-year-old Canadian.

Pospisil reached the last eight after knocking out Israeli qualifier Edan Leshem 6-3, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech won 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (9/7) over third seed Diego Schwartzman.

The world number 58 will next face Roman Safiullin.

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British qualifier Liam Broady ousted fifth seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to meet second seed Marin Cilic. (cen)

Hector Montgomery

"Prone to fits of apathy. Beer evangelist. Incurable coffeeaholic. Internet expert."

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