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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday January 29, 2021

Novak Djokovic

Tennis returned, and so did the fans, at the Day at the Drive exhibition in Adelaide>

Photo Source: Getty

Tennis is back. And it was worth the wait.

The Day at the Drive in Adelaide kicked off on Friday evening with matchups between Jannik Sinner and a tag team of Novak Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic, followed by a battle between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams.

More important than the tennis or the results, was the magical ingredient that we’ve all been missing over the last year: stands packed with cheering spectators.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned for Djokovic. The world No. 1 was supposed to headline the first match but had to split duties with Filip Krajinovic due to a pretty gnarly blister on the inside of his right palm.

Not pretty, but Djokovic was in good spirits and, when he took over for Krajinovic in the second set, ready to play at a very high level. He stole the final three games from the Italian and took the set, 6-3.

Williams and Osaka also played at a high level, with the pair splitting sets before the 23-time major champion snuck away with the match tiebreak to win, 6-2, 2-6, 10-7.

More tennis will happen in the evening session, as Rafael Nadal will face Dominic Thiem and Ashleigh Barty will face Simona Halep.

No matter who wins the matches it is pretty clear that the real winner is Australia. They’ve shown the world how to bagel coronavirus, and seeing those crowds nestled shoulder to shoulder in the stands is a true inspiration and a beacon of hope for all the sporting world to see.


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