Alexander Zverev scored an impressive straight-sets win over Novak Djokovic at the 2022 World Tennis League, earning Team Hawks a win over the Falcons in their tie.
After Grigor Dimitrov and Paula Badosa beat Dominic Thiem and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 5-7, 6-3, 10-4 in three sets in the opening doubles rubber, Elena Rybakina defeated Aryna Sabalenka 0-6, 6-1, 10-6 to tie the scoreline.
Zverev then disposed off the Serb 6-3, 6-4 in the final rubber of the night, a scoreline that will make the German happy despite the fact that the rules of the exhibition event removed ad scoring from all matches. Up next, the Falcons will take on the Eagles, while the Hawks will lock horns with the Kites in the second round of fixtures.
This being an exhibition, the result will not count towards the head-to-head, meaning that Djokovic and Zverev have theirs locked at 7-4 in the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s favor. Their most recent encounter, however, went to Alexander Zverev, who beat his opponent in the semifinals of the 2021 ATP Finals in three sets.
Novak Djokovic set to play against Nick Kyrgios and Felix Auger-Aliassime at the World Tennis League next
Up next, Novak Djokovic will take on Nick Kyrgios during the Falcons’ clash the Eagles. The WTA rubber, meanwhile, will most likely see Paula Badosa taking on Caroline Garica.
After that, the former World No. 1 is expected to face off against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who represents Team Kites at the 2022 World Tennis League. Alexander Zverev is also expected to clash with Kyrgios and Auger-Aliassime in his remaining matches at the event, hoping to send his team into the finals.
After the completion of the exhibition event in Dubai, the World No. 5 will travel to Adelaide for the ATP 250 event at the start of the year, which will be his preparatory tournament ahead of the 2023 Australian Open.
Djokovic, a nine-time winner in Melbourne, will be looking to add to his tally next year, which will make him the first player since Rafael Nadal to win 10 titles at the same Grand Slam.
Having missed last year’s edition due to visa problems which arose from his unvaccinated status, the 35-year-old will be looking to reestablish himself as the player to beat at Rod Laver Arena. In 2023, however, the honor of being the defending champion will belong to Nadal, who won his second title at the Melbourne Major last year by defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final.
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