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20 Jan, 2020 12:40

Novak Djokovic defeats German rival to take first step towards defending Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic defeats German rival to take first step towards defending Australian Open title

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has successfully launched his Australian Open title defense, beating Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 7-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

The second-seeded Serb faced fierce resistance from his lower-ranked rival in the match opener, where a tie break was needed to determine the winner.

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The more experienced Djokovic took the upper hand in a nail-biting ending to the first set, taking the lead in the first-round match at the season-opening major.

The second set was a walk in the park for the 16-time Grand Slam winner, who got full control of the game and broke his opponent twice to take the second set 6-2.

Despite a relatively easy win in the previous set, Djokovic stumbled in the beginning of the third, allowing Struff to make an early break to take a confident 2-0 lead.

The 32-year-old evened the score, before twice allowing Struff to take his serve again and create a surprising four-game lead, enough for the German player to win the third set 6-2.

After that relative on-court failure Djokovic made a stunning comeback, dispatching his 29-year-old opponent in the fourth set 6-1 to earn a place in the second round of the major tournament.