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By Chris Oddo | January 9, 2018

Novak Djokovic took a big step in his return to competitive tennis on Wednesday when he defeated Dominic Thiem, 6-1, 6-4, in an exhibition at Kooyong. The former World No.1 and 12-time major champion looked to be in fantastic form, despite the fact that he wore a full arm sleeve on his right arm.

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Djokovic also unveiled a new, abbreviated service motion that is slightly more compact than the one he has used over the course of his career. But his serving was excellent on this day, and the velocity didn’t seem to suffer any appreciable difference.

Djokovic dominated the first set, then worked his way out of trouble by saving break points two times in the second set before breaking Thiem’s serve to clinch the victory.

“Even though this is not an official tournament this is still a match,” said Djokovic. “It’s great to be back."

Djokovic has previously stated that he would announce his status with regard to participation at the U.S. Open after his two exhibitions this week. The draw ceremony will take place on Thursday in Melbourne.


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