Japan Open 2019: Novak Djokovic returns to court after nursing shoulder injury, starts with doubles defeat

Earlier this month, Djokovic was forced to pull out of his US Open fourth-round clash with Stan Wawrinka due to a nagging injury in his left shoulder

Agence France-Presse September 30, 2019 13:13:06 IST
Japan Open 2019: Novak Djokovic returns to court after nursing shoulder injury, starts with doubles defeat
  • Bruno Soares of Brazil and Mate Pavic of Croatia beat the 32-year-old Serbian star and his countryman Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 4-6, 10-4

  • The doubles experts survived Djokovic's powerful serves with crisp volleying as their quick court coverage overwhelmed the Serbian pair's bold shots

  • Top seed Djokovic will make his Japan Open singles debut later this week playing Alexei Popyrin, a 20-year-old Australian

Tokyo: World No 1 Novak Djokovic, forced out of the US Open with a shoulder injury, suffered a doubles defeat at the Japan Open on Monday, but proved his recovery is on track.

Japan Open 2019 Novak Djokovic returns to court after nursing shoulder injury starts with doubles defeat

File image of Novak Djokovic. AP

Bruno Soares of Brazil and Mate Pavic of Croatia beat the 32-year-old Serbian star and his countryman Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 to progress to the quarter-finals.

The doubles experts survived Djokovic's powerful serves with crisp volleying as their quick court coverage overwhelmed the Serbian pair's bold shots.

Top seed Djokovic will make his Japan Open singles debut later this week playing Alexei Popyrin, a 20-year-old Australian, at the Ariake Coliseum, a venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

His main challengers in the Japan event will be second seed Borna Coric of Croatia and Belgian third seed David Goffin.

Earlier this month, Djokovic was forced to pull out of his US Open fourth-round clash with Stan Wawrinka due to a nagging injury in his left shoulder.

His return means he could play out the season and hold off a challenge to his number one ranking from US Open winner Rafael Nadal.

Later in the day, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia beat Yuichi Sugita, who was entering on a wild card, in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Sugita was leading local hopes after Japanese star Kei Nishikori pulled out of the tournament due to injuries.

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