Serbia s Novak Djokovic reacts after winning the men s singles semifinal tennis match against Russia s Roman Safiullin at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open 2022 in Israel on October 1, 2022. AFP
Djokovic dropped just six points on his serve and won the last five games to seal the win in just 62 minutes.
Djokovic is coming off a victory in Tel Aviv last week and _ aside from a match at the Laver Cup _ the Wimbledon champion hasn't lost since the French Open quarterfinals.
``From the start to the end, (it was) a great performance,'' Djokovic said. ``Playing in a new tournament, different conditions, the first match is never easy. Obviously you are looking to see how you are going to adapt, but I did it perfectly, really, played as well as I can.''
Djokovic will next play Botic van de Zandschulp.
Top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz lost in the opening round on Tuesday in his first match since winning the U.S. Open title to capture the No. 1 spot.
Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the quarterfinals by beating 19-year-old Luca Nardi of Italy 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3). Nardi was playing just his fifth tour-level main-draw match and impressed the third-seeded Greek, who didn't earn a single break point.
``He's a player that can play very well in the future,'' Tsitsipas said. ``There weren't any holes. I believe today he was able to sustain that level from the beginning to end, and that was extremely impressive.''
Roberto Bautista Agut also reached the quarterfinals as he followed up his first-round upset of Felix Auger-Aliassime by beating Pavel Kotov 6-1, 7-6 (5).
Marin Cilic, who lost the Tel Aviv final to Djokovic, had to come from behind to beat Oscar Otte 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the first round to set up a round-of-16 match against Karen Khachanov.
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