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Six-time champion Djokovic returns with win over Young

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Novak Djokovic playing against Donald Young in the Australian Open
2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic returned to action for the first time since Wimbledon with a one-sided win over Donald Young at the Australian Open.

The 30-year-old, seeded 14th after missing the second half of 2017 with an elbow injury, won 6-1 6-2 6-4.

He used a remodelled service action designed to take pressure off his elbow, and he dropped serve just once.

Djokovic faces France’s world number 39 Gael Monfils in the second round.

“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,” said Djokovic, who knelt down and kissed the court on Margaret Court Arena after sealing victory.

Djokovic’s participation had been in doubt until the eve of the tournament as he continues to recover from the elbow problem which caused him to retire from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych six months ago.

American Young, the world number 63, helped him out with a loose start, littered with errors.

Still, it was more than many had expected to see Djokovic reel off 11 of the first 12 games on his comeback, with his average service speed a healthy 116mph.

The only flicker of doubt came when he failed to serve out the second set at the first attempt, but he was never seriously troubled as he wrapped up victory in one hour and 51 minutes.

“It feels so great to be back here, to be back on the tennis court,” added Djokovic.

“There is no better place for me to start playing after six months away than here in Australia. I love coming here.

“It’s been a long period without any official match but I used this time to spend as much quality time as possible with my family.

“Becoming a parent for a second time is a blessing, so I had my hands full.”

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