Novak Djokovic cruises past Karen Khachanov in straight sets 6-3 7-6(2) to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Djokovic hailed the great reception he received after returning to the ATP tour for the first time since his Australia visa debacle in January when he beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-3 on Monday .
The No. 1 seed looked in equally impressive form against Khachanov under the lights on Wednesday evening and will play Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely in the next round.
'It’s BS' – McEnroe says Djokovic should be allowed to play US Open
"I've missed it [playing on the ATP tour]" Djokovic said on-court afterwards.
"This is obviously my life and what I've known to do and keep on doing it for almost the last 20 years. Professional tennis is my love. I enjoy travelling, playing and hopefully bring some positive emotions and memories to people who come and watch.
"Obviously playing in Dubai is always a thrill and a pleasure to come to a place where I've experienced some memorable moments. Winning it five times give me more motivaiton to come to this wonderful city and tournament."
The five-time Dubai champion was clinical from the baseline and he converted his second break point in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. Djokovic dropped just the three games in total before wrapping up the set in 32 minutes.
The second set was equally straightfoward for Djokovic as Khachanov could not keep up with the Serb's intensity.
The 34-year-old broke to go 2-1 up with a backhand that caught the baseline which Khachanov initially left, much to his frustration after realising it was in.
Djokovic clung onto the following game as Khachanov squandered three break points, earned by attacking the world number one's second serve.
The Russian got a slice of revenge, levelling at 4-4 with a blistering forehand winner, but Djokovic toughed it out in the tie-break and won it with a crushing forehand return of serve.
Earlier in the day former British number one Andy Murray lost to highly-rated Italian Jannik Sinner 7-5 6-2 in one hour and 45 minutes.
Djokovic at US Open: America relaxes Covid rules - but star faces travel wait
'An extraordinary line-up' - Tsitsipas, Ruud join Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray for Laver Cup
Share this article