Novak didn’t only beat Gael Monfils 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-1 and reached the second round of the Australian Open but he also survived the heat on Thursday.
Novak: “It was obvious that we both suffered on the court today. Really tough conditions, brutal, especially for the first hour and a half. I knew it was going to be a big challenge for both of us. Gael is one of the best athletes in our sport. I was just hanging in there, trying to use every single opportunity that was presented. He wasn’t at his best at the end of the second and entire third set. The fourth could have gone either way. I’m not at 100% but building…I know what I’m capable of. Coming to this court is a special feeling, I’ve had wonderful memories in the past, it’s been the most successful court I’ve played on in my career.“
Novak reached the second round of the Australian Open after he beat Donald Young 6-1 6-2 6-4 on Tuesday. It was Novak’s first official match since the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year.
Novak: “I played perfect tennis. Like I never stopped – and it was really enjoyable. A month ago I didn’t know if I was going to come to Australia or not because the elbow was still not prepared for this level of competition. It feels so great to be back here, to be back on the tennis court. There is no better place for me to start playing after six months away than here in Australia. I love coming here.”