Novak Djokovic with a new mindset played a lot like the Novak Djokovic of old on Tuesday during his 2016 debut at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. He defeated Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-3.
Djokovic didn’t contend for his seventh China Open title in Beijing last week because of an elbow injury.
Nole broke Fognini on his first attempt in the match’s second game and led by a set after 37 minutes. He dominated on the return side during the second set, winning almost 60 per cent of his return points.
“I was just pleased to be back on the court, considering I skipped Beijing that I planned to play. I had great memories and success in the past in this tournament, on this court,” Djokovic said. “I was just trying to focus on my game and things that I worked on the last couple of weeks… I believe things will progress as days go by.”
Before this week’s ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, Djokovic had said he wanted to find more joy on the court and worry less about winning titles. The approach seemed to work on Tuesday. Djokovic, who has reached the semi-finals or better in all six of his Shanghai showings, will next face Canadian Vasek Pospisil or Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
“As I said before, it’s very simple. I try to look at things from a different perspective, from a more human perspective rather than from a perspective of a professional tennis player,” Djokovic said. “When I get on the court, of course I want to give my best and eventually try to win the match, but that comes as a consequence of how I feel and how I approach, how I prepare, just a general mindset and approach.”